As much as I may want to, it’s difficult to avoid mentioning the biggest event of the past week.
I know I’m not alone in having been completely bowled over by the result of the US presidential election. On Wednesday, the word ‘Trump’ was on everyone’s lips – in offices, on trains and in pubs that evening – generally accompanied by an expression of sheer disbelief, while social media was dominated by an endless stream of incredulous comments and satirical images seeking to create some light relief.
It’s obviously far too early to have any real idea of which policies ‘The Donald’ will actually put in place, or whether some of his more scandalous suggestions, such as building a wall between the US and Mexico, were purely rhetoric, intended to appeal to far-right voters.
Nevertheless, some may find a silver lining in hearing property pundits predict that the result could lead to a boost for housing investment here in the UK as investors switch their focus to this side of the pond.
For now, we will have to sit back and let the result sink in before Trump takes over from Obama as leader of the free world in January…
In the meantime, there is plenty to occupy the collective mind of the industry, with the Autumn Statement due next week.
It was interesting to see the results of Mortgage Strategy’s poll last week in which Twitter users were asked what they would most like to hear from Chancellor Phillip Hammond on the 23rd. When presented with four options, the majority (57 per cent) of respondents opted for buy-to-let tax hike reversals. However, according to a report from Imla last week, more than half of brokers (52 per cent) don’t believe this will happen.
Housing supply is another key issue for lenders and brokers, as well as the general public, and many who were holding out for an announcement in that regard should be buoyed by the Government’s news on Friday that it had introduced an £18m fund to speed up housebuilding.
With access to housing in mind, first-time buyers will be hoping for measures to help them get on the property ladder as the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme draws to a close in December.
The Government has done a lot but there’s far more to do.