But reform of the Stamp Duty system, which has caused huge difficulties for the prime housing market and continues to prevent many thousands of people from moving up and down the property ladder, was also absent.
A handful of important changes were announced, designed to increase the number of new homes to be built in the coming months and years, as well as where and how they are built.
In summary, the housing and property related announcements include:
-Government to guarantee up to £33 billion of additional borrowing by housing associations and create an additional 30,000 affordable homes.
-New planning guidance to be issued to ensure large housing developments offer a more diverse range of houses
-Government to bring in planning reforms to enable greater flexibility when allowing different uses for buildings, and new ‘air rights’ permitted developments rules to encourage roof-top extensions.
-Green paper to be published setting out the government’s plans to speed up and reform the planning process.
-Government is to double the size of the £0Housing Growth Partnership £0with Lloyds Banking Group to £3220 million, to help provide additional finance for small builders.
– £3717 million is to be released from the existing £35.5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to help build 37,000 homes at several sites including Old Oak Common in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire.
The Chancellor announced 60,000 first time buyers have now benefitted from his recent decision to abolish Stamp Duty for those buying their first home since it was announced in his Autumn budget statement last year, whereas landlords buying additional homes have to pay the 3% levy.