Calls to unlock property market potential

From Robert Ulph on October 18, 2021

Ahead of the 2021 Autumn Budget and Spending Review later this month, HM Treasury called for representations to be made and Propertymark has called for action and funding across four key areas that we see will unlock potential in the property market.

The three-year Spending Review outlines the Government’s spending priorities over that time and the Budget provides a statement on the nation’s finances and any proposed changes to taxation. Propertymark’s contribution forms part of an important mechanism for influencing decisions that can have a significant and long-term impact on the property industry. The four key areas focused on are: 

  • Review the impact of Stamp Duty Land Tax following the reduced rates to support the economy during the pandemic and set out a roadmap for potential reform. Options to amend the rates and thresholds would be explored so they better reflect local markets, support buy-to-let investment, prevent existing landlords from leaving the industry and facilitate movement in and across the housing market. A roadmap would help reaffirm policy objectives and ensure the land transaction tax system is fit for purpose and relevant in a post-COVID-19 context.
  • Develop a private renting sustainment and support programme to help prevent further debt, poverty and homelessness, and to help enhance access to affordable housing for households displaced as a result of COVID-19. Renters and landlords whose finances have been affected since lockdown cannot keep tenancies going without additional financial support. 
  • Adequately resource and reform the existing courts’ system to deal with the volume of possession hearings following the stay on evictions and extension to notice periods through the course of the pandemic. The present route to possession via the courts for private landlords is slow, complex and costly and with the Government’s Renting Reform agenda on the horizon, the Chancellor has the perfect opportunity in the Spending Review to ensure we have a court system that can ensure faster access to justice for both landlords and help to safeguard the supply and quality of housing via enhanced confidence in the justice system. 
  • Invest in supporting landlords to make energy efficiency improvements by reintroducing an improved and enhanced Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme and ensuring that policies extend beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. Measures must account for the different age, condition, and size and of properties in the private rented sector and account for when retrofitting costs amount to an unmanageable proportion of a property’s total value. Additionally, new energy efficiency target rules and requirements for domestic premises must be realistic and achievable.

I will keep you up to date with any changes announced in the Chancellor’s Budget and what the Spending Review will mean for the private rented sector. As always, if you would like any further discussion on this or anything else on the local property market, please do not hesitate to contact me.