Letting agents’ fees are to be banned ‘as soon as possible’ and passed on to landlords in a key measure outlined in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement. 

This is a welcome development for renters, but there is already speculation these extra costs will still be paid for by tenants through rent increases.

Despite loud voices from the property industry asking for stamp duty hikes to be reduced or scrapped altogether, the Chancellor made no mention of the 3% stamp duty surcharge or the levy on properties worth over £1.5 million in his speech. Stamp duty increases have especially affected the top end of the London market, including Islington, putting off some would-be buyers and leading to a lack of supply in the middle of the market.

Saving to afford the extra cost of stamp duty only exacerbates the issue of affordability for buyers. Instead, house building measures were rolled out, and the government reiterated its support to help first-time buyers into home ownership and to ease the housing crisis by building more genuinely affordable homes.

£3.15 billion is being set aside to provide 90,000 new homes in London. In addition, £1.4 billion will be used to build 40,000 affordable homes, while a £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will provide 100,000 new homes in areas where more housing is needed.

There was no change to Capital Gains Tax, while Corporation Tax will be lowered to 17% by April 2020, which will help to attract more foreign investment alongside the weakening of the pound.

For more information on the Autumn Statement 2016, click on the link below:
Evening Standard