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Budget of missed opportunities – Industry reaction

First-time buyers are tackling the highest cost of homeownership on record and it’s disappointing to see the government turn their back on them yet again.
Jeremy Hunt

Co-founder and CEO of Wayhome, Nigel Purves, commented:

“The nation’s first-time buyers are currently tackling the highest cost of homeownership on record and it’s bitterly disappointing to see the government turn their back on them yet again. Having afforded them some brief stamp duty respite during the pandemic, they clearly feel their job is done and have now left them out in the cold to fend for themselves. 

While we certainly weren’t expecting another stamp duty reprieve, nor do we believe these intermittent discounted buying costs are the answer, a commitment to at least building more homes would have been a start. 

We were also hoping to see amendments to stamp duty laws to bring parity for all homebuying schemes. This would allow those who utilise additional methods, such as Gradual Homeownership, to be afforded the first-time buyer rate of stamp duty tax when they do come to purchase their home, rather than the rate applied to an existing homebuyer.” 

Levelling Up

Managing Director of Stripe Property Group, James Forrester, commented:

“While we certainly need a better balance of investment across the nation, the Levelling Up Fund has so far been lopsided, to say the least.

As it stands, the North West has seen a substantial amount of investment, while the North East has been largely ignored. So today’s news that the region will benefit from the next round of investment is, of course, positive for the regional economy, along with the economies of the other areas earmarked to benefit. 

However, we can be forgiven for holding our breath until we know for sure just how the latest £80bn has been allocated and which areas of the nation stand to see the largest boost.”

Housebuilding Targets

CEO of Alliance Fund, Iain Crawford, commented:

“It’s disappointing not to see any new ambitions with regard to housing delivery in today’s budget. There’s been a severe lack of new homes reaching the market in recent years and so you would have hoped the issue of housing supply would have been higher on the agenda.

Instead, it seems as though the government has chosen to throw in the towel with no new targets set and this certainly isn’t going to help solve the housing crisis.”

Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sirius Property Finance, Kimberley Gates, commented: 

“Rather than address the housing crisis head on, the government has chosen to shy away from the issue, relinquishing any accountability by failing to set new housebuilding targets.

This hands off approach is sure to see the already inadequate level of new homes reaching the market decline even further. For homebuyers, this means less choice, higher prices and an even tougher task when attempting to climb the property ladder.”

Pensions and Corporation Tax

CEO of RIFT Tax Refunds, Bradley Post, commented: 

“The decision to abolish the lifetime allowance for pensions may seem like a generous offering from the government, but the reality is that it will only benefit a minute percentage of society who are already benefiting from huge pension cash pots.

The average pension pot sits at around £180,000 to £190,000, so for the average person, today’s news is rather irrelevant.

Alas, the chancellor went ahead with his promise to increase corporation tax today from 19% to 25%, a 31% rise in real terms for medium and large companies. This move will potentially net him another £10b to £12bn in annual tax revenue at the expense of hard-working businesses with profits over £250,000. Lowering this tax would, we suggest, have been the best way to truly administer a ‘Budget for Growth.”

Missed Opportunities

CEO of Octane Capital, Jonathan Samuels, commented:

“The government has made numerous legislative changes to ‘improve’ the rental market at the expense of the nation’s landlords, changes that have ironically led to higher rents, less accommodation and lower standards. 

We were hoping that they had finally realised the error of their ways and wanted to once again tempt buy-to-let investors back into the fold. 

Unfortunately this hasn’t been the case and, with them also pushing forward with changes to Capital Gains Tax allowances, we expect to see more landlords exit the sector as a result.”

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“Another missed opportunity for the government to finally do away with the archaic and unnecessary buyer tax that is stamp duty. Doing so would have offered a hand up to thousands of beleaguered buyers who are hard pressed to overcome the high cost of homeownership and helped ensure the market puts its recent cold spell well and truly behind it.”

Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, Chris Hodgkinson, commented:

“The property market has been treading water since last September’s shambolic mini budget and we were looking to the spring statement for a shot in the arm that would reignite the furnaces of buyer demand and help negate any prolonged period of subdued activity.

Unfortunately this hasn’t materialised and the nation’s homebuyers have been shown the cold shoulder once again. While we expect the market to hold fairly firm over the coming year, it’s extremely unlikely that house prices will now rally and the pandemic highs of previous years will be resigned to the record books.”


Jason Ferrando, CEO of easyMoney commented: 

“ISAs have become increasingly popular in recent years and the sector has evolved to provide investors with a range of options to suit their individual needs, whether it be the long established Cash ISA, or more recent offerings such as the Innovative Finance ISA. 

So while the government’s decision to keep the current ISA threshold frozen is certainly not bad news for the nation’s savers, we would have liked to see more done to streamline ISA offerings and make it easier for savers to diversify their portfolio with greater ease.”

Smart Regulation for Digital Tech

CEO and Founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith, commented:

“AI is an incredibly fast moving sector and one that holds huge potential for the future with regard to how we live and work. 

The proposed ‘AI sandbox’ will no doubt help accelerate the growth of the sector and provide a much needed platform for many innovators. Of course, while the increased speed of innovation is a positive, we must make sure that we don’t jeopardise the security and safety of the nation in the process.”

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