Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt delivered his Spring Budget in the House of Commons on 15th March. While there was little doubt that the UK budget for 2023 would be focused on boosting the economy, some practical measures to improve the housing sector were also expected. It came as a shock to many that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt completely ignored housing. First-time buyers hoping for relief were hugely disappointed to see a complete lack of support, even when their sufferings were well-highlighted. There is no mention in the budget about addressing the problem of new home supply. Even the concerns of landlords have been overlooked. There were no steps taken to encourage existing landlords to remain in the market. And, no tax breaks have been proposed to entice new landlords.
As expected, the housing industry leaders and experts have reacted sharply to the gross neglect of the pressing housing issues in the Spring Budget.
Ringley CEO Mary-Anne Bowring commented:
"It is one thing to make the new norm for young people to rent longer, quite another to create a mass exodus of landlords, continually fail to meet housing targets, and fail to create supply-side policies leading to rising rents or to help first-time buyers and ease rental properties demand by offering a stamp duty holiday or discount. And, no age-specific housing policies are on the horizon. Yet another opportunity for housing reform missed.''
"In stark contrast to last year's mini-budget, today made clear that government is intent on restoring confidence in the markets. Though thin on the ground when it comes to housing commitments, the stability signaled today is a positive development for real estate investors targeting the UK, who will be relieved there we no rabbits pulled out of the hat. The reality is that we are still recovering from the Kwarteng and Truss car crash but investors and lenders, especially in the living sectors, are increasingly seeing the UK through a lens of optimism."
Addressing high energy costs at the point of payment is still a short-term view when the UK housing stock is the biggest contributor to carbon emissions. The Chancellor's announcements missed an opportunity to tackle the climate challenge in the long term for the UK's housing stock. Homeowners are keen to make their homes more energy efficient and contribute their effort and resources towards it, but the lack of clarity on the issue is holding them back, along with the cost. Net zero by 2050 will not be possible without a joined-up effort from the government and the property industry alike. Stimulants could include introducing zero-rate VAT for building repairs on period properties where work qualifies as EPC upgrades. As a nation, the writing is on the wall that intervention is required to make our aging housing stock fit for the future.
Tax break incentives could be offered for downsizers to encourage them to find a home that suits their changing lifestyle, a 'right-sizing' policy would help bring back rented houses at the middle and upper end of the market. Ringley is not alone, many other industry leaders have criticized the government for ignoring the housing market problems.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.