By Ian Harris, chairman of the NAEA and an agent with Watsons in Norwich
The Chancellor’s pre-Budget statement contains little, if nothing, good or bad, for the housing market. Stamp Duty returns to its “pre-emergency” status and VAT returns to its previous levels. Many agents had hoped for the duty holiday to continue so it feels like we have lost something but, in reality, its all back to normal! In the commercial sector Empty Property Relief was also extended for 2010-11, with empty commercial properties with a rateable value below £18,000 exempt from business rates – a measure that covers 70% of all empty properties.
If you have an old boiler (no Christmas mother-in-law jokes please) then you may benefit from an old boiler scrappage scheme, to be run in a similar way to the successful car scrappage scheme. Details have yet to be announced but this will help homeowners replace old and inefficient systems with thrifty and environmentally-friendly 21st century models. This past year saw a slow and steady improvement in the housing market and without any budget-interference from government there is no reason why this will not continue.
*Ian’s on 01603 619916.