Stamp duty relief for first time buyers of full-priced houses and apartments is to be extended to first time buyers of shared ownership properties - but this was one of few housing measures in today's Budget.
Addressing the Commons, Chancellor Phillip Hammond said first time buyer numbers were now at an 11-year high thanks to the stamp duty relief on mainstream homes announced last year - therefore he would extend this relief to first time buyers of shared ownership homes, applied retrospectively to late last year and applying to properties costing up to £500,000.
The Chancellor also confirmed previous announcements that the government was spending £44 billion on housebuilding and the stamp duty relief; there will also be a new strategic partnership for social housing with nine housing associations; there will also be a £1 billion boost in the form of Business Bank guarantees for small and medium sized housebuilders.
Although no reference to Help To Buy was made during the speech, a statement afterwards by the Home Builders Federation suggested that it would be extended to run until 2023 for first time buyers only.
In his speech, Hammond told MPs that he wanted to ensure the private homes were kept out of the Capital Gains Tax regime; however, he did want to bring yet another rental activity into the tax net. So he announced that from April 2020 there will be limited tax relief on properties where the owner is in shared occupancy with the tenant - so for example, the current Rent A Room allowance and the increased letting of individual rooms through Airbnb and similar platforms. No further details were given during the speech.
Many small businesses may also be able to benefit from a two-year cut in business rates for the smallest shops - these will enjoy a one-third cut in rates.
There were relatively few other references to anything even loosely connected to the housing market in the Budget. But other measures included in the Chancellor’s speech this afternoon include:
The Chancellor said: "A Budget that shows the perseverance of the British people finally paying off… A Budget for hard working families… …who live their lives far from this place… …and care little for the twists and turns of Westminster politics”.