True to her word Liz Truss has begun the push towards further economic growth today with her Chancellor announcing a series of budgetary measures that included changes to the Stamp Duty levy, aimed at stimulating the housing market and encouraging first-time buyers onto the housing ladder.
This first foray into the promised low tax Conservatism will immediately impact the market, and we will unpack some of those changes and possible consequences below.
During the pandemic, we saw a similar increase in the Stamp Duty threshold to assist the market. As many reading this will be mortgage intermediaries, you can attest to the consequences by how busy you were in the subsequent months!
Liz Truss has been quoted as saying that cutting Stamp Duty is "critical" to economic growth and highlights that controlling the transaction rate is vital to keep things moving upwards.
There will be, of course, a counter-argument, and it's essential to address that narrative. With so much of the crisis based around supply, will stimulus simply based on increasing transactions bolster one side of the market whilst hampering the other? Will speculators drive up the prices even further, ergo, defeating the point of the strategy?
We believe - it has to be a two-pronged attack and that this policy does indeed benefit the supply issues. Both sides of the development client base will benefit from a cost reduction, initially clients looking to acquire land and property, and subsequently, the onward clients looking to purchase the stock - the market our developers are selling into.
This is a desirable prospect from an investment perspective and, more significantly, funds looking to move into the property asset class because the policymaking from Westminster and the performance of the assets are in alignment. This is in complete contrast to the more speculative markets where the policymaking can often be counterintuitive to the investor's goals.
The policies of tax cutting and trickle-down economics will be forever debated as to the actual benefits to those on lower incomes; however, there is a fact that can't be avoided, we do need to build more homes, and we believe these changes show a belief and confidence in this sector that benefits all parties.
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