Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has set out his plan to encourage economic growth across the UK in his Spring Budget. The announcement of twelve new high investment zones located in the Midlands, Greater Manchester, Teesside, Liverpool, and other parts of the Midlands and the north, spells encouraging news for the local property market. Testament to the governments levelling up scheme, the East of England and the Northwest are the second and third most popular locations for housing market activity in the UK, with 39,237 and 38,838 property sales, respectively.
More than a third (38%) of tenants from London moved to the Midlands or North, up from 27% in 2019 and above the 13% of homeowners moving to the same regions. The Proposals to ‘supercharge’ these regions with £80 million of funding over five years in an aim to improve skills and local infrastructure clustered around universities or research institutions will aid sectors such as technology, artificial intelligence, and the creative sector. Cash will be used to improve the planning system and business support will mean further encouraging market activity in the future.
David Hannah, Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax provides some expert insight on the announcements made in today's budget:
“The announcement from the Chancellor of 12 new investment zones spread across the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, the North East, South & West Yorkshire, East Midlands, Teeside and Liverpool will drive property prices in these regions. There has been a concerted effort from the government to spread the wealth evenly throughout the UK and the introduction of these investment zones should increase the amount of jobs and businesses in these regions which will inevitably effect property prices.
"Not to mention providing more job opportunities for those who are currently unemployed causing a rise in wages and potential property buyers.The chancellor did outline employment as a priority in the announcement and a measure which the government introduced of having apprenticeships available in the skills trades for over 50-year-olds could positively affect the chronic undersupply of properties in the housing market.
"This is a good measure that helps address skills shortages, which are currently affecting 83% of businesses within the construction industry, according to research by recruitment specialist Search Consultancy. I think anything that they can do to expand the construction sector is welcomed – it is a supply crisis that we are seeing in the property market, not a demand crisis. They are focusing on getting workers to return back to work and that should inevitably speed up construction.