Miles Gibson, head of UK research at CBRE said: “There was a proliferation of medium size proposals in today’s Budget on housing, planning, cities, business rates and infrastructure, but little radicalism to catch the eye of real estate decision makers. Nevertheless CBRE was pleased to see further action on business rates and significant spending on housing supply measures. It was refreshing to see specific acknowledgement given to build to rent development. But there was an immediate watering down of the Chancellor’s 300,000 homes a year target, announced only a few days ago. The really big Budget story, however, is the downgrading of economic growth forecasts from 2% to 1.5% in 2017 and similar downgrades for future years.”
Tim Attridge, head of London Rating at CBRE commented: “We welcome the scrapping of the staircase tax, a common sense move which could save rate payers up to 30% on annual bills. The three yearly revaluations will more accurately track the rental market on which rateable values are based. This will prevent cliff edge changes to bills as witnessed in 2017. This is good news for businesses, in particular retailers, giving them more clarity on their future occupancy costs. The Chancellor leaves the door open to move the date of the next revaluation of 2022, thus avoiding any potential clash with the General Election in the same year.
“The linking of rates liability increases to CPI growth from 2018 does not go far enough. A £2.3bn saving over five years is welcome, but the Chancellor should have followed his predecessor’s lead and capped the increase in April 2018 at 2%.”