Potential buyers and landlords hoping for stamp duty reform have been dealt a blow by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Spring Budget today.

Despite loud calls from the property industry to scrap or amend the 3% SDLT surcharge and reinstate full tax relief for mortgage payments (due to be cut from April 2017), the Chancellor failed to address either.

In fact, the Chancellor made no mention of the property market at all, instead choosing to focus on social care funding, education, and the strength of the economy.

With no change on stamp duty or buy-to-let tax relief, potential landlords may choose not to invest, harming the rental market at a time when rental demand is high, especially in London. This, in turn, may push rents up further for tenants.

However, there was brighter news for Islington’s small businesses, as the Chancellor addressed business rates revaluations. The Chancellor stressed that no businesses losing small business tax relief will see their bill increase by more than £50 per month, while offering a £1000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 for 90% of all pubs (those with a rateable value of below £100,000). In addition, a £300 million fund will be set aside as a discretionary subsidy which local authorities can use to help businesses.

This will at least provide some comfort for Islington’s small businesses. In a previous article, we discussed how a petition has been launched by Islington traders – now signed by 13,000 people – calling for business rate rises to be delayed because of the impact on independent businesses.

There was hope the Chancellor would announce measures to help revitalise the property market or shine more light on the proposals outlined in the recent Housing White Paper, but neither occurred.

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