The 2014 Budget took place this week and the biggest property related announcement was the Government widening the 15% Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) net. From 20 March 2014, the 15% SDLT rate will apply to residential properties valued at more than £500,000 and purchased though a “corporate envelope”.
The other big property announcements were:
- the extension of the “Help to Buy” scheme to March 2020. This is despite concerns that the scheme would result in another housing bubble due to an increase in residential property values;
- the mortgage guarantee scheme for residential new builds and existing properties will continue until 31 December 2016;
- 15,000 new homes will be built in Ebbsfleet as part of a new garden city development;
- there will be funding to help regenerate Brent Cross and Barking Riverside;
- small house building companies will be supported by a £500 million “Builders Finance Fund”;
- there will be an increase in funds available for flood repairs (£140 million);
- the Government is looking into SDLT “seeding relief” to apply when a property is transferred from one entity to another without any real change in ownership (for example, group re-organisations);
- the Government is also consulting on creating a new “Right to Build” for those wanting to build their own house; and
- the Government will be reviewing the planning legislation with a view to creating more scope to change of use between the use classes (excluding betting shops and payday loan shops). The Government is to also seeking to make it easier for businesses to expand into car parking areas and loading bays.