Osborne urged to pull back from major interventions in housing market

Osborne urged to pull back from major interventions in housing market

The Conveyancing Association (CA), trade body for the conveyancing industry, has urged the Chancellor, George Osborne, to favour stability over continued change when it comes to any Budget measures addressed at the housing and mortgage markets.

Next week’s Budget on Wednesday 16th March is also due to see the publication of the final rules with regard to increased stamp duty land tax charges on additional properties.  In its recent response to the consultation the CA was fairly critical of many aspects of the proposed rules and suggested there was a large degree of arbitrariness to key points, such as the 15 property ‘rule’ which would see corporate landlords (and potentially individuals) exempt from the increase if they already owned, or were able to buy in one purchase, this number of properties.

The Association is hoping Osborne and his HM Treasury team, at the very least, water down the proposals if not scrap them entirely. It suggests that the spike in transaction levels, particularly in buy-to-let purchases, over the last three months has stretched all parties and has placed an unnecessary burden on conveyancers to meet an artificial deadline.

In its Budget wish list, the CA has urged Osborne to pull back from any further major interventions in the housing and mortgage space, which could have potentially negative circumstances. It believes the Chancellor should focus on the major problem facing the UK housing market – a continued lack of supply – and further support for first-time buyers, rather than seeking to hit the buy-to-let sector further and deliver further bad news for the landlord community.


The CA believes that with the result of June’s Leave/In EU Referendum already causing great uncertainty amongst the conveyancing and wider business world, there is little need to add to this with further market tinkering.

Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, commented: “Unsurprisingly, the conveyancing market is looking for a period of stability but I suspect we won’t be getting that post-next week’s Budget. The publication of the final rules for extra stamp duty charges on additional properties will be made available and one can’t help think there is likely to be some considerable confusion around them, not forgetting the fact of course that the conveyancing industry will have to cope with these changes from the start of April. The small amount of time this provides firms to ready themselves and to ensure all stakeholders in the market are clear on these new rules is, quite frankly, ludicrous.  

“Not only would we like to see these additional stamp duty charges dropped, or at the very least, watered down but we feel any further change in the UK housing market, unless positively focused on areas like helping to increase property supply or supporting first-time buyers, will only add to the instability we (and many others) will have to cope with. We believe the Chancellor should allow the market time to breathe – in the CA’s view it is much better served by supporting steady transaction numbers, rather than the artificially-created spikes that have been far too prevalent. The last three months of increased buy-to-let transactions being a case in point. Instead, we would like to see the status quo – post-April – maintained and allow us to plan and prepare our resources adequately based on the market itself rather than deal with further uncertainty generated by ongoing intervention.”

Paul Saunders, Head of Residential Conveyancing at CA member, Shakespeare Martineau, said: “The conveyancing industry and indeed buy-to-let landlords need some clarity from the Government on the stamp duty changes for buy-to-let properties. There remain many unanswered questions and the benefits/burden is difficult to interpret for all parties. On a similar vein I hope that the Government will not continue its trend to disincentivise buy-to-let landlords as we do not know until after the 1st April what damage this could cause to the housing market.  

One key subject I would like to see addressed is the huge shortage of housing. The National Housing Federation estimated 974,000 homes were needed between 2011 and 2014 with figures from councils showing only 457,000 actually built. With over 11 million people over the age of 55 new housing needs to reflect the changing demographic and I look forward to hearing concrete plans from the Government regarding housing development.”

Join our mailing list:

Leave a comment



Latest Comments

milessgabriel
milessgabriel 05 Dec 2016

Useful article

view article
Spencer Fortag
Spencer Fortag 30 Nov 2016

I am glad that someone listened to me!

view article
Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 27 Nov 2016

It's not just the lack of estate agency advice that's costing landlords money; most are getting seriously bad advice from their accountants resulting in tax bills far higher than they need to be. Likewise,...

view article
Sally Walmsley
Sally Walmsley 18 Nov 2016

The RLA stands by its sell-off statistics. While we welcome the feedback from Mr Jagota and are delighted to hear how well things are going for landlords in the north east, we would like to make it clear...

view article
Sheryl87
Sheryl87 18 Nov 2016

The high employment levels and the vibrant economy has led to ever-increasing demand for rental properties, especially from professionals relocations from other cities. This has led to more experts teaming...

view article
Sheryl87
Sheryl87 18 Nov 2016

Renting out your house can be risky business. It's good to think about residential landlords insurance. Standard cover includes buildings cover and cover for loss of rent following damage to a property...

view article
AmberMorris
AmberMorris 09 Nov 2016

Fear of ghosts, really?? Ok, I get the fear of bats in the attic and mice and rats running under your nose - those are easy to deal with pest issues which are really unpleasant and can turn you off. But...

view article
AmberMorris
AmberMorris 08 Nov 2016

In my experience, It has always been a matter of discussion between the landlord and the tenant. There are cases when it's clear who's responsible for the pest control costs. I see a lot of people in forums...

view article
warren
warren 08 Nov 2016

There you go buddy :)

view article
Agent_PeeBee
Agent_PeeBee 07 Nov 2016

Any reason why my comment to this 'article' has not been published?

view article
Sean Lees
Sean Lees 04 Nov 2016

I don't think anyone can say dogs or cats are better or worse; depends on the animal, its age, how long it's left inside, etc. How bad the mess is depends somewhat on whether you are renting furniture...

view article
daniel black
daniel black 25 Oct 2016

I've been keeping a close eye on what the effect of Brexit has been on the rental market and it's a very mixed bag. Whilst the majority of the news focuses on London's market. I think this time next year...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Property

Specialist Lending Roadshow 2017

24th-27th November

4 days
7 specialists
4 locations
Free to attend

Click here to register now