Plans unveiled in the Budget will make buying homes in Britain more expensive for people abroad, and use the cash to help rough sleepers Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced Overseas buyers will pay 2% more for a home in Britain than UK residents under new plans announced in the Budget today.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the move would help Brits afford homes, while the money raised would go into a £643million fund to help end rough sleeping.
"I’m confirming today that our manifesto promise to introduce a new stamp duty surcharge for non-UK residents will be introduced at a rate of 2% from April 2021," Sunak said in the House of Commons.
But experts have questioned just how much help it will provide people struggling to get on the property ladder and escape their landlords.
NAEA Propertymark chief executive Mark Hayward said: “This policy allows those in the UK to have a better chance at purchasing a home.
"However, overseas buyers tend to purchase properties in prime central London which are completely unaffordable to most homebuyers anyway.
"Therefore, this move will not help those that need it most. Ultimately, by energising surcharges, it is likely that purchasers will factor this additional cost into any offers they make on a property so prices may be pushed down in areas where overseas buyers are purchasing."
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: "An opportunity was missed to improve accessibility to the market for first-time buyers and downsizers who are causing a log jam at the top and bottom of the market.
"This would have improved activity, which is good for the whole economy. Clearly, housing is not up there in terms of priorities for the Chancellor at the present time."
Jamie Morrison, from HW Fisher, said: “Although a crowd-pleaser, these stamp duty changes will have little impact on the housing market.
"Overseas buyers activity only accounts for a small part of the overall property market and so the impact of a 2% hike in the rate for overseas buyers, whilst a blow, is not fatal.”
But not everyone was critical.
Mary-Anne Bowring, managing director at residential property consultancy Ringley, said: " The falling pound has made housing more affordable to overseas buyers, while domestic buyers have had to contend with stagnant wage growth and ultra-low interest rates pushing up prices and eating away at their ability to save.
"An increase stamp duty for overseas buyers will simply put things back to where they were before the Brexit vote and level the playing field for domestic buyers."
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