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Expert Opinion

16.11.22

As we all eagerly await the Autumn Statement tomorrow, Abode2 gets experts view on its potential impact on the property market from a collection of leading developers and estate agents

There is speculations and predictions aplenty around Jeremy Hunts upcoming announcement, for example suggestions that the Principle Private Residence relief, which exempts gains realised on disposal of a main home, might be abolished.

While higher property taxes seem unlikely to be effective given the current state of the property market, it is possible that the government will give Local Authorities the scope to increase Council Tax by larger than usual amounts in April 2023. However, a recent report by the OTS has recommended aligning the tax rules for furnished holiday letting with those for long term residential letting income: changes here could raise some revenue.

Abode2 gets some expert insight from leading figures across the property market:

Make The UK Great Again 

Rayna Hunter, CEO of prime residential developer LH1 Global: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s the mantra we followed after the mini budget, which caused the value of the Pound to crash and did a lot more harm than good. Despite this, we saw it as an opportunity to engage with our dollar-based buyers and discussed the opportunity to get a good deal if they moved quickly. The Autumn Statement is an opportunity to turn the tide and provide some much-needed stability, following a period of turmoil. Our belief is that there is always an opportunity in the market, no matter which way it turns, but we are in need of a confidence booster to reassure property investors, both international and domestic, that the UK remains a safe bet and that this is just a blip. Rishi Sunak earned his stripes as Chancellor during the pandemic in what was probably the most unpredictable period since World War Two, and Jeremy Hunt has proven himself steadfast in his beliefs, if nothing else, so we are quietly confident that we are going to see a Budget that will steady the ship and rebuild trust that the UK is a great place for business and a safe investment.”

We Need To Get Moving 

Brian Comer, Co-Founder and Chairman of high quality residential and commercial developer, Comer Homes: “Our hope for the Autumn Statement is that there will be support provided to those that not only want to move, but need to. The property market is a crucial cog in the UK economy and the recent mini budget and other issues, such as inflation and political turmoil, are hampering people from being able to move home all across the ladder. Following the pandemic we all understood there was going to come a time when we would need to pay back the cost of getting through the crisis, but we hope the Chancellor is fair with his policies that will not hinder people’s ability to spend on one of the biggest purchases of their life, but also stabilise inflation and rising interest rates, which is causing havoc in the mortgage industry. A healthy property market requires confidence and stability, so it’s crucial we get this one right.”

Confidence Is Key 

Paul Cosgrove, Director of leading independent local estate agent Finlay Brewer: “The recent mini budget had a major adverse impact on the property market of any financial statement in the past decade. The rushed policies and initiatives, followed by a sharp crash in sterling, created shockwaves across all markets.  Consequently we need to see more confidence restored when the Chancellor opens his red box on Thursday. After a sustained period of political turmoil and uncertainty buyers have been probably more spooked than necessary which has caused them to pause before they make their next move. We are seeing signs of the market beginning to settle given the most recent interest rate increase with the Bank of England intimating that this could be the last for a while.  We are confident that the Autumn Statement on Thursday will crystalise the ‘new normal’ and therefore it is a critical budget for this government.  It is a crucial opportunity to turn the tide and demonstrate that the Chancellor is a steady and trusted hand; that he can and will take control of the situation which will ultimately stabilise many of the variables that have impacted the market recently.  This will enable us to start the New Year with clarity and confidence in a more cohesive market.”

Prime London Needs Stability 

Bertie Russell, Director at central London residential estate agent Russell Simpson: “Prime central London has felt somewhat sheltered from the recent uncertainty in the market, however, the mini budget certainly left its mark. Following a consistent period of activity and steady values, there have been reports of a drop in activity levels and a slight decrease in values of c.0.3% since the mini budget, so we are looking for the Autumn Statement to right some of the wrongs and bring some stability back to the market. Hopefully, the new Prime Minister and his Chancellor will put forward policies that have been made with the health of the economy, which will only be a positive going into the New Year.”

Support Landlords To Aid Lettings Market 

Ed Woolgar, Lettings Director at Russell Simpson: “Landlords have a had a rough few years, with increases in stamp duty for second home ownership, mortgage interest relief and wear and tear allowances creating a difficult atmosphere to successfully operate within. This has seen a steady withdrawal of private landlords from the market as they cash out and move on, seriously impacting the level of stock available, which in turn has seen rents rise significantly. Any further policies impacting landlords negatively will only cause more upward pressure on values, so we hope to see some sense from the Chancellor and hope he introduces financial relief to ease the burden and entice buy-to-let investors back into the market.”

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