September Round-up - Interest Rates, Stamp Duty Cuts, Overseas Investment and Net Zero Carbon
September was an historic month – one that has already had considerable impact on our industry.
First and foremost, we were deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II. What a tremendous reign she had, having been a constant in our lives. The Queen’s passing coming just two days after meeting with Liz Truss to swear her in as the new Prime Minister is evidence of her devotion to the role.
Liz Truss will hope to carry forth some of Her Majesty’s widely commended traits into her new position of leadership, following Boris Johnson’s tumultuous three year charge, marred by controversies and in-fighting. Truss has immediately made her presence felt – although not without controversy, with the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announcing a mini budget that has cut taxes, including the Stamp Duty Land Tax, which we discuss in our first blog.
The budget announcement has come under significant criticism, with the pound plummeting to a record low as a result of the cuts and what critics are deeming ‘gambling with the economy’, with the weak pound rattling investor confidence. Favourable conversion rates for overseas property investors, however, looks set to add to the recent reports of overseas investment rebounding in London, as explored in our second blog.
Finally, we focus on a story that has a bit more certainty coming out of it – that being the appointment of David Partridge as the Chairman of the UK’s first Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard. The Standard is set to regulate and verify net zero carbon homes in the UK, providing a firm yardstick for developers to strive towards and yet more evidence that sustainability is going to shape public perception of developers for years to come.
As Ed Mead wrote in The Spectator: ‘Anyone sticking their head above the parapet and claiming they know where the world will be in 12-36 months is sticking their finger in the air.’ But with the SDLT cut and the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard, we at least have some long-term measures in place to motivate buyers and raise the sustainable standards of our homes.