The landlord's guide to the Spring Statement 2018

Landlords may have been looking for respite in Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement 2018, delivered today.

The statement was light on proposals, but there was some key economic news that may impact buy-to-let landlords and the private rented sector. Here, we’ve set out the key points landlords need to understand.

Economic forecasts

The Chancellor announced that growth for 2018 was forecast to reach 1.5 per cent, up from previous estimates of 1.4 per cent. It will dip in 2019, but will reach 1.5 per cent by 2022.

Borrowing for 2017-18 was forecast at £45.2 billion, down £4.7 billion from previous estimates. It is believed that borrowing will be 1.8 per cent of GDP in 2018-19, compared with 2.2 per cent in 2017-18.

Spending

The Chancellor did not make any concrete spending plans, as expected. However, he indicated that a full spending review will be conducted in 2019, and that spending will be increased if economic trends continue.

Housing

Hammond singled out housing as a key part of the government’s plans for infrastructure spending. However, today he made just one announcement – for a £100 million grant to encourage the building of 215,000 new homes in the West Midlands by 2030-31.

Business rates

For commercial landlords, or landlords with offices, the Chancellor also brought forward the next business rates revaluation by a year, from 2022 to 2021.

What was the Spring Statement missing?

It’s clear that the Spring Statement 2018 was light on detail and light on announcements. According to the Resolution Foundation, it was a “sugar rush statement,” in which the long-term challenges of weak growth and weak pay have not been addressed.

But landlords will have particularly noticed the absence of measures to reverse what some have seen as an aggressive clampdown on the private rented sector. A raft of changes in the last year have seen landlords’ tax bills rise, and new regulations including Right To Rent have made it more difficult (or at least more time-consuming) for landlords to let their properties.

It’s important that landlords are on top of tax and legislative changes in the private rented sector. In particular, read more about what the Autumn Budget 2017 means for landlords.

What do you think of the Spring Statement 2018? Is it good or bad for landlords? Let us know in the comments.

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