Latest News

MHCLG guidance on buying and selling homes during COVID-19

27 March 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued guidance on buying and selling homes during the stay-at-home period. Read More...

Self-employed to receive 80% supplement by June

26 March 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak this evening announced a new self-employed income support scheme, comprising a taxable grant worth 80% of their average profit over the last three years. The scheme will be open for three months and will be extended if needed. Read More...

Leaseholders call for Government help with cladding security costs

26 March 2020

Leaseholders in buildings cladded with flammable materials have called for support with the cost of interim safety measures during the Coronavirus crisis. Read More...

Home buyers can move if unavoidable

25 March 2020

In the latest guidance from the Government, home buyers should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new property whilst emergency measures are in place to fight Coronavirus. Read More...

Council Tax Hardship Fund to support those affected by Coronavirus

25 March 2020

The Government has confirmed further support for renters with a £500 million hardship fund which will provide council tax relief for vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by Coronavirus. Read More...

Avoid online scams to keep yourself safe

25 March 2020

New ways of working and potential home distractions mean conditions are perfect for bad actors looking to harvest data. Read More...

Spring Budget 2020 - stamp duty, cladding, AML and more

Wednesday 11 March 2020

New Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has delivered a range of measures affecting the property industry in his first budget.

Stamp Duty Surcharge

A stamp duty surcharge of two per cent for non-UK residents will be introduced from 2021.

Quote mark

If introduced, this policy allows those in the UK to have a better chance at purchasing a home. However, overseas buyers tend to purchase properties in prime central London which are completely unaffordable to most homebuyers anyway. Therefore, this move will not help those that need it most.

Ultimately, by energising surcharges, it is likely that purchasers will factor this additional cost into any offers they make on a property so prices may be pushed down in areas where overseas buyers are purchasing.

Mark Hayward

Mark Hayward
Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark

 

 

Economic crime levy

It didn’t make it into the chancellor’s main speech, but the ‘red book’ budget documents show that the government intends to introduce a levy – to be paid by firms subject to the Money Laundering Regulations – to help tackle money laundering and deliver the reforms in the Economic Crime Plan.

The levy will be additional to ongoing public sector funding, and the government will publish a consultation on the levy later this year.

Affordable housing and homelessness

The Budget sets out an ambitious package of investment to build high-quality affordable homes. This includes £12.2 billion for the Affordable Homes Programme and £400 million for Mayoral Combined Authorities and local areas to establish housing on brownfield land.

A £650 million rough sleepers fund will support people into permanent accommodation.

Cladding

A £1 billion Building Safety Fund will support the removal of unsafe combustible cladding. The fund will cover all types of cladding, not just ACM, on private and social buildings 18 metres and above. The funding is additional to the £600 million already made available for ACM removal. 

Business and infrastructure

The chancellor announced a £175 billion boost for infrastructure projects.

Entrepreneurs Relief’s lifetime limit will be reduced from £10 million to £1 million.

Flooding

£120 million will be allocated for repairing all damage caused by winter floods. A further £200 million will go directly to local communities experiencing repeated flooding for flood resilience.  Investment in flood defences will double over the next six years.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

It is no surprise that plans for combating the spread of coronavirus took a prominent place in the speech. Much of this is not housing-specific but may benefit both smaller agencies and anyone whose tenants still need to pay them rent. 

SUPPORTING BUSINESSES THROUGH COVID-19

  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the Government will fund Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in full for two weeks – worth £2 billion.
  • Any firm that is currently eligible for the small business rates relief can apply for a £3,000 cash grant.
  • A coronavirus business interruption loan scheme will be introduced to cover the cost of salaries and bills. Loans of up to £1.2 million will support small and medium-sized businesses.

SUPPORTING TENANTS TO PAY THEIR RENT DURING COVID-19

  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available from Day One (instead of Day Four) of any sick leave. 
  • SSP will be available for anyone advised to self-isolate, fit/sick notes will be available from NHS 111 with no need to travel to a doctor.
  • Those on Contributory Employment Support Allowance can claim from Day One instead of Day Eight.
  • Benefit claimants will not be required to attend Job Centres in person to claim, this can be done over the phone or online.
  • A £500 million hardship fund will be available for distribution via local authorities.

OTHER SUPPORT FOR TENANTS IN GENERAL

  • National Living wage 6.2 per cent increase – to reach 2/3 of median earnings by 2024
  • National Insurance threshold up from £8,632 to £9,500 from 2020/21 - giving 31 million people a tax cut, saving a typical employee £104.