The Property Bit
There were also a few items of specific reference to our industry. On the theme of tech, Hammond promises the creation of geospatial data commission, which will release new records for prop-tech to feast upon. Secondly, small reliefs in business rates were overshadowed by a change in the mechanism. We will now see rates revaluations every three years, which will create a bit of work for the VOA and rating surveyors. On the housing side, the Government has pledged £44bn in capital funding, loans and guarantees over five years to support the biggest house building programme since the 1970s (targeting 300,000 net additional homes pa). This will be assisted by the creation of five New Towns, and support for the Oxford, MK, Cambridge corridor, but not building on the Green Belt. Potentially most significant is that all first-time purchases under £300,000 (and in London the component of £500,000 purchases less than £300,000), will be exempt from SDLT (95% of all first-time purchases). But will this stimulate the supply side, or just increase pricing? The not-very-well veiled threat of a review into a wider use of CPOs and direct intervention on undelivered consents remains to be seen in April.