A row of terraced houses in London

Autumn Statement: what changes have been announced?

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Autumn Statement to parliament today, announcing a deadline on stamp duty cuts, changes to council tax, and an end to the current energy price cap from April 2023.

We take a closer look at how these changes might impact you if you’re a home-owner, renter, or planning to move.

Stamp duty cuts to remain in place — but only until March 2025

The Chancellor confirmed that the stamp duty cuts announced in September will remain in place to support the housing market over the next two years. But he announced that the savings will come to an end on 31 March 2025.

In September, the price level at which stamp duty is payable on a home purchase was raised from £125,000 to £250,000 in England and Northern Ireland. And first-time buyers now pay no stamp duty at all when buying a home priced up to £425,000, which was previously capped at £300,000. This means first-time buyers can save up to £6,250 until March 2025.

Our property expert Tim Bannister says that because the clock is now ticking on potential stamp duty savings, it will bring a bit more urgency for people trying to get on the property ladder, or planning a move to a bigger home, in the next few years.

He says: “As the stamp duty cuts will still be in place for a couple of years, I don’t foresee a significant number of people bringing their plans forward to 2023, especially due to current affordability challenges. But we may see a jump in new sellers towards the end of next year, and into 2024, to ensure they can move in time.

“The time it takes to buy and sell a home is currently over six months, meaning people will need to be well on their way by late summer 2024 to make sure they don’t miss out on the savings.”

However, because the current savings are lower than the stamp duty holiday of 2020, mortgage rates and house prices are likely to have a much bigger impact on the number of people moving home next year.

You can use our stamp duty calculator to work out how much stamp duty you’ll pay

READ MORE: How has stamp duty changed?

Typical household energy bills to rise from April 2023

The Energy Price Guarantee was introduced at the start of October this year as energy costs soared by up to 80%. It limits the amount households can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. The government is supplementing the cost until April 2023. There’s also a £400 discount off energy bills currently being applied in instalments over the winter months.

Today it was announced that this help for energy bills will continue, but at a reduced level for 12 months, from April next year.

The price cap has meant that typical households pay the equivalent of £2,500 on their energy bills a year. Today’s announcement means typical household bills are set to rise back up to £3,000 from April next year. The cap doesn’t limit how much you’ll pay, so if you use more energy than a typical household, your bills are likely to be higher.

How might Council Tax change in your area?

The areas in England with the highest council tax rates could see the biggest increases in monthly payments over the coming years.

Today, the government revealed it will allow local authorities in England to raise council tax by 5% without the need for a referendum. Previously, councils had to put planned increases of more than 2% up to a public vote.

Local Authority Council Tax (Band D)
Council Tax (Band D)
2022/23 +5%
Rutland £2,300 £2,415
Nottingham £2,294 £2,409
Dorset £2,290 £2,405
Lewes £2,281 £2,396
Wealden £2,252 £2,365

READ MORE: Why have house prices fallen?

The header image for this article is provided courtesy of Dexters, Shepherds Bush

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