Autumn Statement  

Autumn Statement was anti-climax for property - and that's no bad thing

Martin Stewart

Martin Stewart

We were all waiting patiently to live blog Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement and the next thing we knew, he said "I commend this budget to the house" and sat down.

So it fair to say this was the Budget that never was. To be fair though, whatever happened was always going to be anti-climatic when compared to the one we got in September from which we are still reeling from today.

And perhaps that’s okay. It did feel calmer and more professional from Hunt and while it may take a day or so for the markets to absorb and dissect the detail I think we are hopefully passed the point of talking the base rate up to 6 per cent.

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From a mortgage and property perspective there was little of note and, again, perhaps that’s no bad thing.

One of the main causes of an over-heated property market was the unnecessary stamp duty holiday launched as we came out of lockdown.

Yesterday's Autumn Statement announced that the stamp duty incentives that Hunt's predecessor Kwasi Kwartang announced in his "mini" Budget were only running until 2025 and therefore don’t appear to be a permanent fixture.

Last time we had a stamp duty holiday it caused a stampede of people trying to get their transactions over the line before it ended.

Such is the devastation caused to lending rates and the fear that now stalks the market, it doesn't really matter this time around. There won't be too many people rushing to take advantage of the savings any time soon.

There was a decrease in capital gains tax allowance. That may encourage some landlords to dispose of their buy-to-let property sooner rather than later. But that said, a £5,000 saving won't feel quite so beneficial if you are getting cheeky offers 15 per cent below the asking price.

On the plus side, the amateur buy-to-let landlord didn’t get hammered either, so there is time for them to lick their wounds after previous Budgets focused in on them quite heavily.

All in all, this Autumn Statement was more ‘meh’ and less ‘woah’ like the last one. The bottom line is: the party is over, and it looks like it will take us all the best part of two years to settle the bar bill.

Martin Stewart is founder and director of London Money