Here’s a review of the announcements in the property industry after the wake of the spring budget at the end of March 2022, and further schemes announced by the Department of Levelling Up..

VAT “ABOLISHED” ON ENERGY SAVING MATERIALS

Rishi Sunak has said that his VAT cut on green home materials would make big savings for buyers, explaining that the tax savings on installing a solar panel set could be worth £1000, and it would save £300 per year in energy bills.

There has been pushback though, suggesting that the complexities around installing these materials would mean the 20% tax-cut doesn’t apply very often to buyers.

BANK OF ENGLAND BASE RATE RISES AGAIN

For the third meeting in a row the Bank of England’s base rate rose (see below), this time up to 0.75% in March 2022. The significance of this is that banks have hiked their interest rates up, which affects mortgage repayments.

For example, a 75% LTV loan with NatWest of £225,000 over 25-years, would have seen your repayments rise by £28 a month after the change.

THE SOCIAL HOUSING REFORMS

The Department for Levelling Up announced a series of measures aiming to give greater power to tenants in March. Part of these were steps forward in legislation that has objectives like treating social housing residents with respect, and supporting them for their first step in ownership.

The big aim though, is to halve the number of “non-decent rented homes” by 2030.

GREATER TARGETING ON “BAD” SOCIAL LANDLORDS

Otherwise known as “naming and shaming”, the other part of the social housing announcements were that the Government could publicly state which social landlords in the UK were failing standards, based on complaints by tenants.

One point even mentioned publicising on social media where and when serious findings have been found against landlords.

Minister for Social Housing Eddie Hughes MP:
We have published draft legislation to toughen up regulation of social housing landlords. This includes naming and shaming those landlords who fail to meet acceptable living standards and giving tenants a direct channel to raise their concerns with government.”

HOUSEHOLD SUPPORT FUND DOUBLED

The fund has been doubled to £1 billion, after the vulnerable households support fund was set to end on the 31st of March, so now local authorities will get extra funding and divide it to those they deem most in need of it.

The fund was first introduced in September 2021, as a fund for vulnerable families to obtain living essentials.