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Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn statement included several measures that will affect the housing market.

Mr Osborne said that there was a crisis of home ownership among young people and his aim was to shift to aspirational home ownership, and help to reduce the housing benefit bill.

- Money will be spent to encourage house builders to construct starter homes.These will be offered at a 20% discount on prices up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere. The policy was first announced in October 2014.

- There will also be investment in a shared ownership scheme, reduced rent for those saving for deposit, and specialist homes for the elderly and those with a disability.

- There will also be a London Help to Buy scheme for those within the capital who can save a deposit of 5% of the value of the property they want to buy. They will be able to get an interest-free loan, for up to five years, worth up to 40% of the value of that home.

A 3% surcharge on stamp duty when some buy-to-let properties and second homes are bought will be levied from April. 

This stamp duty surcharge will lift each band by 3% which for properties worth between £125,000 and £250,000, where the stamp duty is 2%, buy-to-let landlords will pay 5%.  For the average buy-to-let purchase of £184,000, that means an extra £5,520 will be payable from April 2016.

Commercial property investors, with more than 15 properties, are expected to be exempt from the new charges.
This is the second big change to stamp duty after reforms, announced a year ago, which affected the higher end of the property market.

A total of £1bn will be raised by 2021 owing to a change to stamp duty in England and Wales. 

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