Resounding silence on property from Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond making his Budget statement to MPs in the House of Common

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond making his Budget statement to MPs in the House of Commons Picture: PA Images - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Property experts have reacted bitterly to the Chancellor’s speech today, which offered no relief on stamp duty or buy-to-let

Hopes were not high enough to be dashed by the Spring Budget announcements today, but property experts were still astounded by the conspicuous absence of any significant announcements regarding property.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond made no mention of giving relief to the top bracket of Stamp Duty Land Tax, which sees buyers of properties valued over £1.5 million taxed at 12 – 15 per cent.

Trevor Abrahamson, director of Glentree estate agents said:

“There was a golden opportunity to do something about the higher rate of Stamp Duty, which was conspicuously missed.”

He added: “I do hope that the Chancellor will ‘wake up and smell coffee’ when he looks at the Stamp Duty receipts, which according to the OBR, will be down by £10billion across the electoral term.

“When you double a tax what do you expect to happen as a result, and what was the former Chancellor Osborne thinking when he conjured up this dastardly plan?”

Buyers will still have 30 days to file and pay their stamp duty, with the proposed 14 days delayed until 2018.

Douglas McWilliams, president of economic consultancy Cebr commented:

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“Philip Hammond seems to have been captured by his Treasury civil servants.”

He added: “The system of taxing property in the UK has become a real mess, causing an increasing misallocation of resources, while the yield disappoints. Older people get stuck in properties that are too large because of stamp duty while those who want to buy-to-let are discouraged from doing so. This holds back housing investment. There is an urgent need to reform.”

There was no hoped-for last minute repeal of tax increase on buy-to-let properties billed for April.

Landlords are still set to start paying tax on their turnover, rather than on the difference between their income from rent and the interest on their mortgage.

Russell Quick, CEO of eMoove deemed it:

“A bitterly disappointing, lacklustre Budget by Mr Hammond in terms of addressing the current UK housing crisis. It is clear he is continuing the head in the sand approach of those before him in bypassing the issue, with a few headline-grabbing business initiatives and the usual proclamations about how great the economy is currently performing.

He added:

“Ironic that a former property developer should give the subject such inadequate focus within his plans and woeful for those aspirational buyers on the ground still dreaming of getting on the ladder.”

Disappointment reigned all around, as industry figures fears about falling transaction levels, flat house prices and falling rents were compounded by the silence of the Spring Budget.

Danielle Cullen, managing director at, said:

“The government seem to be continuing to favour developers and big businesses building more properties and making more money, whilst penalising regular people who are purchasing buy-to-let properties as an investment or retirement income.”