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Reading news reports about the budget can be time consuming, and confusing, so here are 7 bitesize news chunks to help you figure out how today announcements could affect housing and the property market.
1.      The minimum wage will increase to £7.20 p/h in April next year and will reach £9.00 by 2020 – 2.5 million people will receive an estimated £5,000 rise over 5 years. If you’ve wanted to buy your first home but never felt financially secure enough to do it, could now be the time? With the support of the recent help-to-buy scheme, this financial boost could help people across the North West achieve their dream of being a homeowner.
2.       Mortgage relief for buy-to-let homebuyers will be restricted to the basic rate of income tax. Tax relief allowed landlords to claim tax back against their buy-to-let mortgage payments. The Chancellor has suggested this will effect only the wealthiest investors while other commentators are concerned that this could put smaller investors off. Limiting the number of much needed rental properties coming onto the market. Some commentators have suggested that this could result in an increase in private rents.
3.       The inheritance tax threshold will be increased to £1million from 2017. If you inherit a valuable property up to a value of £1million it will pass to you tax free from 2017. Current inheritance tax is 40% on estates worth more than £325,000 per person.
4.       Higher-income households (those who earn over £30,000 - or £40,000 in London) in social housing will be required to pay rents at the market rate. This is fairly self-explanatory, those who can afford to pay rent at the current market rate will be expected to do so when living in a social housing property.
5.       New powers over planning will be handed to a consortium of councils in Manchester, with a similar scheme to come in other NW cities. £30m for new body to promote integrated transport - including use of Oyster cards - in the north of England New devolved planning powers could mean an increase in approval for new build sites, with improved transport links an added bonus.
6.       Rent A Room tax relief increased to £7,500 pa after 18 years at £4,250 pa. This is great news if you use sites like Airbnb to make some extra cash from your spare room.
7.       Confirming Help To Buy ISA and the expansion of Right To Buy for housing associations, plus new planning reforms to be announced on Friday. We don’t know what’s coming on Friday, but hopefully the new announcements will be in line with the already announced measures which aim to increase home building. The help to buy ISA will help those saving for a deposit with the government agreeing to top up the pot and Right to Buy will assisting people wanting to buy their own social housing property.
On the whole this budget is generally positive for the property industry and the property buying public. How do you anticipate these changes will affect you? Let us know in the comments.

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