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26 SEP 2022

RICS response to the UK Government's Growth Plan Statement

On Friday 23rd September, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng delivered his Growth Plan statement to the House of Commons. Alongside expected announcements around tackling high energy costs, cutting taxes and reversing the rise in national insurance, the Government has announced a series of additional measures that will seek to drive economic growth and encourage investment in the UK.

In the property sector, the announcement of a cut in stamp duty will be welcomed by prospective first-time buyers and home movers falling under the affected price categories. This measure is clearly intended to help stimulate demand at a time when rising interest rates and slowing economic growth are dampening activity. We know, however, that housing affordability remains a significant challenge for many due to a fundamental lack of supply, so it is vital that supply side issues are addressed alongside efforts to promote demand and we know that house prices have risen sharply over recent years.  

The announcement of New Investment Zones to release land for new homes as well as plans to accelerate transport infrastructure are positive and we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that the government will increase the disposal of surplus government land for the building of new homes.

We are pleased to see the Chancellor’s recognition that the planning system is currently too slow and RICS has consistently called for reform of the planning system. We look forward to seeing further detail of the new bill which the Chancellor referenced in his Statement in due course, alongside other planned ministerial updates in the coming weeks on efforts to roll out digital infrastructure faster and reform business regulation.