Following today’s Budget, delivered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, a number of property experts have reacted to the housing measures announced.

The Chancellor confirmed that the government will introduce a 2% stamp duty surcharge for overseas property buyers, which is expected to raise in the region of £650 million to help rough sleepers.

An extension of the Affordable Homes Programme with a new multi-year settlement of £12 billion was announced, while there will also be an increase in infrastructure spending to the tune of £175 billion before 2024.

Sunak said 4G coverage would be in place across 95% of the country in the next five years and that a planning white paper would be announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick on Thursday March 12th.

There will be a review of the long-term future of business rates launched at an additional Autumn Budget set to take place later this year.

As for the spread of coronavirus, the Chancellor made a number of spending pledges, including a measure to refund sick pay for all firms with fewer than 250 employees for up to 14 days.

“Although the Brexit transition process and the coronavirus outbreak naturally took precedence in today’s Budget, it’s promising to see that the government still considers housing to be an important issue,” said Neil Cobbold, Chief Sales Officer of PayProp.

“An additional 2% stamp duty surcharge for overseas investors will certainly have an impact on the demand for properties in England’s major cities. We will have to wait and see whether disincentivising overseas buyers causes a shortage of rental homes in the long-term.”

“Moving forward, with a strong majority government in place, we hope that all market stakeholders can benefit from coherent regulation that is well-considered and effectively enforced.”

Milton Rodosthenous, Director of online auction service LetsBid Property, which has partnered with over 150 estate agents, said: “The stamp duty surcharge for non-UK tax residents represents positive news for domestic property buyers and landlords. Competition from overseas buyers – which has been rife in recent years, particularly in the UK’s largest cities – is likely to reduce significantly.”

“However, the additional tax could pose problems for the Prime Central London market, in which there is currently a huge amount of overseas investment.”

He added that many property industry insiders will have been left frustrated that no domestic stamp duty overhaul was announced.

“[Stamp duty changes] would have given the market a further boost following the increased activity we have seen in the first few months of the year post-election and post-Brexit.”

“Those keen for stamp duty reform will now have to wait, but it could only be a matter of time as it’s clear from his previous comments that Boris Johnson has designs on overhauling the current stamp duty system.”

“Meanwhile, it was surprising not to see stamp duty relief for first-time buyers confirmed as a permanent policy. This initiative has been highly successful and contributed towards many younger people no longer feeling that home ownership is out of reach,” he said.

You can see a full breakdown of the Budget here.