Posted 22 Nov 2017
Shelter's response to Autumn Budget
On the face of it, the new stamp duty relief means the average first-time buyer will save £1320 – but the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates £1000 of this will be eroded in higher house prices caused by the very same policy.
Responding to the Budget
Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: 'The new 300,000 housing supply target is an important commitment, which we welcome. Whether it makes a difference to most people struggling with the housing crisis will depend on whether most of the homes built are affordable, and the government still needs to set out its plans on this. Today’s announcements of further investment in council housebuilding and supporting infrastructure are a welcome signal on this.
'The stamp duty holiday focused on first-time buyers sounds positive on paper but realistically, this will only help a very small number of people who have already been able to save enough for a deposit. For most young people, homeownership has become a pipe dream and the high cost of rents have made it difficult for them to save.
'For those at the lower end of the income scale, we were pleased to hear changes to Universal Credit – including abolishing the seven-day waiting period and allowing some people to claim housing benefit for the first two weeks of their new claim, so they can continue to pay their rent.
'Shelter and our supporters have been lobbying for extra help for those living in areas where the gap between housing benefit and private rent is highest, so we are delighted the Treasury has listened to us – announcing extra help for 140,000 households, through a Targeted Affordability Fund.'