This year’s spring budget has left a lot to be desired

Dubbed the ‘neither budget’, it appears to have neither stabilised the property market nor improved prospects for home-movers or first-time buyers. And has been described by many industry experts as a series of blatant ‘missed opportunities’.

Those much-anticipated 99% mortgages?

Absolutely no mention of them.

A reinstatement of the Help-to-Buy scheme?

No – that’s not happening.

Changes to the early withdrawal penalty on Lifetime ISAs?


More homes for young people?

Little chance of that.

However, despite all those missed opportunities, there were a few small changes announced which could have an impact – however small – on the housing market in 2024.

If you’re an existing homeowner, property investor or just keen to get on the ladder, here we round up the key points to take from the chancellor’s latest budget, and explore how our specialist team of conveyancing solicitors could help you moving forward.

3 key takeaways from the UK budget

…which may have an impact on the 2024 property market.

  • Capital gains tax has been reduced by 4%

Capital gains tax is a tax you pay to HMRC when you sell a large asset.

Currently, if you sell a residential property – that isn’t your main home – and you’re a basic rate taxpayer, you’ll pay 18% tax on any profits you make. Following the budget, this will stay exactly the same. But for higher-rate taxpayers, the tax rate is set to be cut from 28% to 24%.

This may seem like a very small reduction, but it’s hoped it will be enough to energise the 2024 property market – encouraging more landlords to sell their buy-to-let properties (and benefit from a greater return on their investment) and leading to an overall increase in transactions.

  • Tax relief for holiday lets has been abolished

The furnished holiday lettings (FHL) tax regime – introduced in the 80s – was designed to offer tax advantages to those who let out a furnished holiday home. Essentially, it allows landlords to claim tax relief on 100% of mortgage repayment interest and the cost of any furnishings.

But from April 2025, the scheme will be abolished.

Approximately 127,000 properties currently utilise the FHL regime. And according to the chancellor, in the run-up to the spring budget, that volume has created “a distortion, meaning there are not enough properties available for long-term rental by local people”.

By getting rid of the scheme, it’s hoped more landlords will decide to sell their furnished lets, leading to an increase in long-term rentals becoming available and more properties returning to the market.

  • Stamp duty relief for multiple dwellings has been stamped out

Multiple dwellings relief (MDR) is a tax relief scheme, which reduces the amount of stamp duty payable – specifically, when purchasing several residential properties in a single transaction.

The regime was originally introduced to encourage buy-to-let investments. However, according to a recent external evaluation, there is no evidence that it has achieved this – so as part of the spring budget, the chancellor announced it will be scrapped from June 2024.

Many portfolio landlords and large-scale property investors were, in fact, hoping for more government support – not less! But ultimately, this change means they will no longer get a tax discount when buying multiple dwellings at once. They’ll pay exactly the same as they would if they bought them individually, which could discourage them from investing further.

Housing market 2024

Need advice following the ‘neither’ budget?

Generally speaking, the intention of this latest UK budget is to revitalise the residential property market, encouraging landlords to sell their properties and opening up housing opportunities for buyers. Whether it will achieve this is debatable – but nevertheless, the changes outlined above will have at least some impact on homeowners, investors and prospective buyers.

As the property tax landscape evolves throughout the year, seeking professional advice has never been more important. And if you’re unsure how these new rules will impact you, our conveyancing solicitors here at St Helens Law are on hand and happy to offer their assistance.

With in-depth knowledge and experience in this area, we can provide invaluable insight into how the spring budget may affect your individual circumstances. Whether you’re strategizing for future investments or considering either buying or selling a property, our expert guidance can help you make sense of the tax changes and make a fully informed decision.

So why not get in touch?

An initial consultation is available with our residential property team completely free of charge, in which our specialist property solicitors can answer any questions you may have, clarify these latest tax updates and advise on the best next steps for you to take. To book an appointment, simply give us a call on 01744 742360.

Alternatively, you can fill out the form at the top of this page and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible with further information.