In his Budget of 21 March, the Chancellor has taken on board many comments and concerns from the real estate sector, but failed to fully address others.
ULI welcomes the commitment of £150 million into the UK Tax Increment Financing model to assist some core city projects. However, the ULI believes that a more direct easing of the rates burden on occupiers, particular for the SME sector, would provide a more wide-reaching stimulus to regional growth.
ULI supports the commitment of £270 million into the “Growing Places Fund”. This, coupled with further Enterprise Zone capital allowance relief, will help stimulate Council-promoted development and revitalise the most challenged of urban communities.
The ULI welcomes the Chancellor’s pledge to “Get Britain Building” by providing £420 million of funding towards 12,000 new homes. ULI believes that this will be vital in assisting the availability of housing for lower and medium income families, and it is complimented by a Government commitment to release public sector land with capacity for 100,000 homes. ULI is also confident that the plans put forward for direct public sector investment to infrastructure projects, coupled with initiatives enabling greater pension fund activity in infrastructural investment, will have also a long-term, positive impact on urban growth and nationwide connectivity.
ULI firmly believes that initiating legislative consultation to enable changes to the REIT sector is of fundamental importance to the sector. If introduced, the legislation will improve liquidity across the REIT market, as well as provide significant support across residential and commercial sectors from both a private and public sector perspective. The natural next step would be for the UK government to initiate consultation around enabling the establishment of Mortgage REITs and ULI would welcome this move.