“Urgently needed respite”: London business leaders react to spring 2021 budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced his annual budget today.

In the announcement of the spring budget 2021, the Chancellor outlined plans for measures to extend the vacation program in Great Britain as well as to support the real estate market and an increase in corporation tax.

Bdaily spoke to business executives across London to hear their reactions to this year’s budget and what it means to different sectors.

Matthew Tooth, Commercial Director at LendInvest

“It is welcome news that the tax deadline for the stamp tax country is being extended today in the Chancellor’s spring budget. This expansion will significantly reduce the current increasing pressure not only on lenders, but also on transport companies, brokers and other professionals involved in real estate transactions.

“Since the first announcement of the Stamp Duty holiday, the real estate market has been booming with a record volume of deals, which was certainly noticeable at LendInvest. This expansion will provide ample fuel for this to continue as the country finds its way out of a pandemic-triggered recession.

We can assume that this decision will have a positive effect on property prices. Last year we recorded a six-year high for growth in residential property prices of 7 percent, which was partly due to the first implementation of the stamp tax by the Chancellor.

“While previous analysts’ expectations for 2021 were stable growth of between 1 and 1.5 percent in connection with the hugely successful vaccination campaign in the UK, we can now expect higher growth for the market in the next quarter.

“It’s also great to see the government keeping an eye on the housing crisis within this budget by launching a mortgage guarantee initiative to keep the housing market moving.”

Neil Weston, director of Scout Financial Services

“We are very pleased that the government is supporting first-time buyers in the Chancellor’s budget today. We have been calling for more support for mortgage lenders in this area for some time, and the Prime Minister promised measures in this direction back in October. So it’s great to finally have a plan in place.

“While the availability of 90 percent of the purchase price mortgages has improved recently, the market continues to be constrained by strict lending criteria and the lack of high-lending value mortgages.

“More support for lenders to lend a higher percentage of the purchase price is undoubtedly welcomed across the industry and among first-time buyers.

“However, many first time buyers may find themselves in a difficult position where they now have enough cash to make a deposit, but they cannot take out a mortgage due to vacation.

“The latest Treasury Department figures show that a total of 4.7 million Britons continue to vacation, many of whom are potential first-time buyers in sectors such as retail, travel and hospitality.

“Workers on leave looking to buy a home have far fewer mortgage options, and many lenders refuse to even consider a leave of absence. Today’s announcement by the Chancellor does little to mitigate this. If anything, expanding the vacation program will only make the problem worse. “

Vic Darvey, CEO of Purplebricks

“The three-month extension will be a real relief for many moving companies who are likely to be ready in time now. It is a welcome respite for these people and gives them, industry and business the much-needed respite.

“However, it will still be disappointing news for many others – especially those who are bringing their home to market on the promise of stamp tax savings and still miss out on their dream home if they don’t finish on time.

“Many people have found it impossible to take that crucial first step on the real estate ladder. Home ownership should be accessible to more people, however, and this is a real boost for first-time buyers or people with smaller deposits.

“Creating more homeowners not only makes the market fairer, it gives the real estate market and the economy as a whole the much-needed dynamism.”

James Lynn, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Currensea
“The Chancellor’s update is of course welcome to travel, as is the surge in bookings in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement last week, but unfortunately the travel industry is still not in a good place.

“The surge in bookings is, of course, both encouraging and helpful to the travel industry, and it allows them to develop an understanding of consumer confidence in travel so businesses can plan accordingly and be prepared to take off. #

“However, I am concerned that despite continued support without the announcement of a specific cash injection for the travel industry, there will be many struggles to support this sharp surge in bookings.

“We cannot abandon our fantastic travel sector, which has done everything in the last year to stay afloat.”

Bryan Mansell, Co-Founder of Gazeal

“The Chancellor’s budget inevitably focused on expanding much-needed support in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout 2021, however, the Treasury Department is likely to focus on closing the spending gap caused by the health crisis.

“The announcement of a three-month extension to stamp duty leave – and a higher tax threshold through September – will hit the headlines as Rightmove says it will open up an additional 300,000 transactions and save £ 1.75 billion.

“While it is positive that the government is listening to the views of agents and promoters at the coal mine, as well as the public buying property, the demand for a more specific end to the tax cut should have been given greater attention.

“A three-month extension – and additional help until September – will be more effective than another six weeks previously rumored in the Chancellor’s plans. A cliff edge is still emerging, however, and while more shoppers will benefit from stamp tax savings than previously thought, there will nonetheless be some who miss out.

“An increase in stamp duty coupled with the launch of the vaccine in the spring and towards the summer means the market should be in good health for the coming months and agents will be able to finalize existing transactions and build their future pipelines .

“Once the stamp duty vacation ends, it will be time for the market to move on. If we get out on the other side of the pandemic, it would be good to see the government return to its promise to improve the home buying and selling process through greater efficiency and transparency.

“Improving consumer safety, reducing the likelihood of diarrhea and making the switch more efficient would not only help buyers, sellers and agents, but more transactions would allow the Treasury Department to increase much-needed stamp duty revenue.

“The news that the government is putting in place a guarantee system to bring back 95 percent of mortgages is another boost for potential buyers.

“A new program to help people get up the ladder could increase the demand for apartments. However, it is doubtful that the necessary number of homes will be available to meet the growing demand as the UK continues to experience a serious housing shortage.

“With that in mind, it is disappointing that we have not yet learned how £ 20 billion pledged last year to support new homes, including a £ 7.1 billion National Home Building Fund, has been used to address this shortcoming become.”

Ian Warwick, managing partner at Deepbridge Capital

“Today’s budget was rightly geared towards economic recovery and employment. In every phase of economic recovery, agile companies lead the way.

“The UK continues to lead the start-up and scale-up ecosystem and this will become increasingly important in the months and years to come.

“In addition to the Covid-specific measures introduced by the Chancellor, initiatives such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme will continue to be of crucial importance in promoting growth in the UK.

“Given the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, it is remarkable that we have such brisk OBR forecasts for the years to come. Now that the health crisis is hopefully drawing to a close, economic recovery has rightly been at the center of the budget.

“We expect the innovative technology and life science companies we partner with will be at the forefront of this recovery. Entrepreneurs and scale-up companies will lead the way for growth.

“The announcement of a renovation loan with an 80 percent government guarantee to lenders is welcome news for all businesses. We have a great financial ecosystem in the UK and this program continues to support it. “

Mark Amis, Regional Director for London at Lloyds Bank

“The announcement of the extension of the business rates as well as the continued VAT cuts and restart grants are undoubtedly welcomed by the most affected hotel and leisure companies in the city.

“The roadmap presented by the government for the lockdown has given a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel, but it remains clear that hospitality and leisure companies need as much support as possible to aid their recovery.

“Our latest business barometer showed that business confidence in London rose again in February. We hope this will continue in the coming months when the restrictions are lifted.

“We’re standing by companies across the capital to help them get out of the disruption caused by Covid-19 in the strongest possible position.”

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