In his first major speech following his appointment as British Chancellor by Prime Minister Theresa May, Philip Hammond will have to tread a careful line. With Brexit negotiations ahead, and the shape of the Trump administration in the US unclear, he is unlikely to make dramatic changes.

Even so, the UK’s property shortage and concerns about the impact of stamp duty increases imposed by the earlier Conservative government mean that Hammond is under pressure to act.

Property experts anticipate that:

  • He will announce a £3 billion housing fund, aiming to ‘get Britain building’.
  • The higher rates of Stamp Duty on properties over £1.5 million may be reduced, since the change has reduced demand for these properties, leading to lower tax income than expected.
  • Stamp Duty on second homes has also come into question, as some government supporters have argued that it unfairly targets buy-to-let investors and parents buying properties for their children.
  • Changes to planning regulations, to encourage more building, may be included.

Since Philip Hammond made a large fortune from property development, he certainly understands the market and may have some sensible proposals for ways to stimulate it.