The Chancellor’s commitment to build 300,000 homes each year is very welcome. We would agree there is "no silver bullet" to our housing challenge!
The most substantial area for housing was the relief from stamp duty for first time buyers.
However, it remains to be seen how effective that is going to be in addressing the issues in the housing market. In theory, 95% of first time buyers are winners from removing stamp duty.
The entire market is linked through chains and the higher stamp duty rates of up to 15% at the top end of the market discourages people from upsizing...resulting in a shortage of homes coming on to the market and therefore unlikely to reduce prices.
On a positive note, if the stamp duty saving increases the number of 1st time buyers searching for a sub-£300,000 property to buy, this could incentivise housebuilders to undertake new developments or unlock those previously on hold.
Moving to commercial real estate, from April 2020, income received by non-resident companies from UK property will be subject to UK corporation tax instead of income tax.
However, the Government has gone significantly further and capital gains on commercial real estate held by non-residents will now be subject to tax on gains accrued on, or after, April 2019.
This is a fundamental change and could have a major impact on the market.
Commercial real estate brings in billions of pounds of investment into the UK each year and Government won't want to jeopardise this especially in light of Brexit and keeping the UK attractive.