The Chancellor has delivered a Budget against a backdrop of encouraging economic data in which inflation fell last month to 1.7% and the Office for Budget Responsibility has raised its 2014 growth forecast to 2.7% (from 1.8%) reflecting the fact that the UK economy is growing faster than Germany, Japan and the US.
Some key points for property in the Budget include:
- Help to Buy equity loan scheme extended to 2020; support for building of more than 200,000 new homes; and a £150m fund to kick-start the regeneration of large housing estates via repayable loans in a bid to boost the housing supply.
- Review of the General Permitted Development Order, including consultation on greater flexibility for change of use to residential from warehousing & light industrial.
- The Government Property Unit’s Strategic Land and Property Review identifies £5bn of receipts from land and property to support growth and drive efficiency, a significant amount of which will be brownfield land; departments already committed to release £3.5bn of land and property.
- £140m extra for flood defence repairs and maintenance; £200m reserve for local authority bids to fix potholes.
- Business rate discounts and enhanced capital allowances in enterprise zones will be extended for a further three years ………
- ……. but no rating revaluation and full empty rates will continue to be charged.
- Measures to boost household incomes include raising personal tax allowances, a fuel duty freeze, alcohol duties cut, pensioner bonds and more flexible rules on taking money out of pensions.