Welcome to your December edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter!

Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • What did the Autumn Budget say?
  • All the latest need-to-know news.
  • Top tool: interactive map alert!

The Autumn Budget: the gist

Lots of good news for first-time buyers (if they act quickly), and some not-so-good bits and bobs for everyone else. Here’s what you need to know:

For first-time buyers:

  • Stamp duty has been abolished for all first-time buyers on properties that cost up to £300,000. For properties in expensive areas (like London), there’ll also be stamp duty relief for the first £300,000 on properties that cost up to £500,000.
  • Last month Theresa May promised to extend the Help to Buy scheme to 2021 (instead of 2020), and this was confirmed in the Budget.

For buyers, landlords, investors and developers:

  • The government has pledged to build 300,000 homes a year on average by 2025, with a focus on urban areas where people want to live (and where most jobs are created). If you’re thinking of getting in on some BTL action, don’t hold your breath: the Tories promised 200,000 starter homes three years ago, but we haven’t seen any of them yet.
  • The government will also create five new “garden” towns – although there’s currently no info on where those garden towns will be, when they’ll be created, or anything else about them really.
  • There’ll be a review to study planning laws and “fix the problem” of “land banking”. If the review indicates that developers’ slowness in property building is actually down to over-zealous regulations and bureaucracy, we hope the chancellor will admit to it and fix that particular problem rather than go after developers with the “compulsory purchase” stick he’s threatening.
  • Investors are now firmly on the back foot when it comes to buying a property that costs under £300,000: they’ll need to fork out up to 8% on stamp duty, whereas first-time buyers can get it stamp-duty free.

For homeowners and vendors:

  • Errr… nothing for you. Sorry!

For everyone:

The abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers will (as we’ll continue to see with Help to Buy) cause property prices to rise more quickly. First-time buyers will need to get a wriggle on if they want to make the most of all the benefits coming their way.

Property news

It’s been a busy ol’ month…

Tech firms buoy up property in Silicon London. Global tech companies are loving our capital city.

How to BUY a one-bed property in London for just £60k. There’s just one catch…

London Airbnb landlord makes £12m a year from 881 rental properties. It’s a long way from the site’s original mission.

The “unsquare mile”: how developers are tempting buyers to east London. The area doesn’t half look different these days.

Our useful tool of the month

Interactive map alert! Because we all love an interactive map. Here’s a great one from the BBC: a handy resource showing where in the country you can afford to rent or buy.

Check it out here.

The end! (Until 2018.)

Have a wonderful New Year, and see you in 2018!

Speak to you soon!