Ray Boulger predicts housing-heavy Autumn Statement

Ryan Bembridge

November 17, 2016

Next week’s Autumn Statement will contain announcements about the 3% stamp duty surcharge, starter homes, a ‘buy as you go’ scheme and SME housebuilding according to John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger.

Boulger (pictured) reckons the government will add an exemption to the 3% stamp duty surcharge to prevent those involved in other joint applications being charged extra tax when buying a main residence.

He said: “I hope and think they will do something to mitigate the damage of the 3% stamp duty surcharge.

“As it stands a parent who has a joint mortgage application with their child would incur the 3% surcharge if they bought a house.

“And if you helped a parent aged over 75 remortgage who has a maturing interest-only mortgage you would get clobbered by the surcharge.

“I think if somebody is buying a main residence where they don’t live in the other property they should be exempt full stop.”

He expects media reports about a ‘buy as you go’ scheme to be proved right, where housing association tenants are expected to be given the right to contribute to the purchase of their home through monthly rent payments.

He thinks the government will finally clarify its position on starter homes, an initiative announced at the end of 2014 which promised 100,000 first-time buyers a 20% discount.

And he thinks the government will provide smaller housebuilders with incentives to purchase and build on publicly-owned land.

Boulger added: “There will be more about housing than we’ve had in previous Autumn Statements.

“The public silence on starter homes is making the government look a bit ridiculous so I think they will clarify their position – I suspect the scheme will look a bit different to the one first envisaged.

“We’ll also get details on how the government plans to encourage housebuilding.

“In some areas there are surplus properties and you’d need to spend a relatively small amount of money to bring them back into use.”

Smaller housebuilders have found it harder to acquire finance since the credit crunch, and Boulger thinks this will be addressed.

He said: “A lot of government land is owned by the public sector so it could designate this land to that type of customer.

“There is a balance to strike mind you as they shouldn’t sell it too cheaply – but they could offer a small subsidy to get land in the hands of small builders.”

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