“The budget was delivered to great expectations with the Chancellor tipping his hat to both political and economic necessities.
Stamp duty reductions may create a movement in the housing market, so will provide some economic stimulus to balance the economic downgrades. This should be good news for retail too.
A few substantial sums have been committed to housing and infrastructure as well as further devolution - all positives for commercial property and posing new opportunities for the likes of Andy Burnham and Andy Street. Will this be enough to tempt occupiers out of London and into the regions? I think labour availability may be a more pressing issue in the short term.
The crack down on cyber sales tax is a very interesting step. Physical retailers will be watching closely as the advantages of internet retailing begins to erode.
It looks as though foreign investors did not go unscathed if you read the fine print. From 2020 capital gains on UK property for non-residents may well now be in the tax net. This seems likely to have significant implications for the investment market, particularly London where foreign investors currently account for around 75 per cent of central London investment. There is talk of exemptions for pension funds, but we await clarity and indications on how the market might react. In the meantime, this is yet another layer of uncertainty.
Given the lack of transparency, it’s hard to know if the £3 billion commitment to prepare for every Brexit outcome proves to be adequate, or just a drop in the ocean.
In short, a competent budget that may fall short on stimulus, but addresses some political concerns and lays the long term ground work for further substantial development.”