Chancellor George Osborne has announced a 3 per cent premium on stamp duty for buy-to-let investors and those buying second homes, aimed at raising £1bn by 2021.
As part of his Autumn Statement and Spending Review, Mr Osborne explained the new measures were to tackle the issue of second homes bought by those who live overseas and will be introduced from 1 April 2016.
He added the government will consult on the details so that corporate property development is not affected.
Mr Osborne complained that many buy-to-let deals are cash purchases that are not affected by the restrictions introduced in the Budget on mortgage interest relief and many of them are bought by those who are not resident in this country.
“Frankly, people buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can’t afford a home to buy,” he added.
Money raised from tax on people buying their second home will be used to help those struggling to buy their first home.
The chancellor also announced a new London Help-to-Buy scheme - with Londoners with a 5 per cent deposit able to get an interest-free loan worth up to 40 per cent of the value of a new home - attributing the policy to Conservative London mayoral hopeful Zac Goldsmith’s campaigning.
Currently, if you are able to pay at least 5 per cent the value of your home as a deposit, the government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the rest of the value of the property, alongside your mortgage of up to 75 per cent.
Equity Loan will be now available until 2021, and to reflect the current property market in London, from early 2016 the government will increase the upper limit for the equity loan it gives new buyers within Greater London from 20 to 40 per cent.
Continuing with his five point housing plan, Mr Osborne promised the biggest housebuilding programme since the 1970s, doubling the housing budget to £2bn a year in order to build over 400,000 affordable homes.
It will include £2.3bn paid to developers to build starter homes for first-time buyers, who will get a 20 per cent discount on property worth up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside the capital.
Mr Osborne stated: “135,000 will be our brand new Help to Buy: Shared Ownership which we announce today. We’ll remove many of the restrictions on shared ownership – who can buy them, who can build them and who they can be sold on to.”
In addition, £4bn will be spent on 135,000 Help to Buy shared ownership homes for households earning less than £80,000 - or less than £90,000 in London.
The government will also put £200m towards 10,000 new homes for people to live in for up to five years at reduced rents while they save for a deposit, before having the “first right” to buy the home.
Another £400m will go to build 8,000 specialist homes for older people and those with disabilities.