With the Government’s spending deficit still stubbornly stuck around the £100 billion a year mark, few financial analysts were expecting many giveaways from George Osborne in last week’s budget; but in fact the Chancellor produced a pensions bombshell – as well as some other pledges – which your blogger believes will result in a boost for the building sector and thereby impact positively on our own cosmetic repair business.
Annuities have been viewed as offering a poor return on your money since banks dreamt them up three centuries ago, but the legal compulsion to use the major part of your pension pot to buy one meant the big institutions “held the whip hand.” Meanwhile low interest rates and quantitative easing have driven annuity rates to an all-time low.
Now though, the Budget announcement that retirees will be able to take and invest their funds how they like means it’s a whole new ball game. And although critics have warned that people could blow the lot on a Viv Nicholson type spending spree –and one minister said it was up to the individual if they bought a Lamborghini – the likelihood is most pensioners will act sensibly.
And what do most Brit’s regard as the safest long-termplace to put their money? In bricks and mortar of course, so I think there’s a good chance that a lot of people with pension pots of £100,000+ will be looking to invest in a second property – which should give a big boost to the buy-to-let market where they can see a decent return for their money while still protecting the capital. What is more, renting out property – especially through an agent – demands that places are kept in a good state of repair. Needless to say our Finishers will be available to deal with any chipped tiles, cracked shower trays or scratched worksurfaces, as well as any damage or staining disfiguring the bricks and mortar themselves.
Elsewhere in the Chancellor’s speech, it was announced that the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme would be extended until the end of the decade, which is expected to help another 120,000 families in the UK to buy a new-build home by 2020.
As a result of the decision to extend the scheme, Barratt Developments has said that it expects to create another 3,000 jobs; while the Home Builders Federation estimated that 120,000 new homes would create 300,000 new jobs in total –180,000 of these on building sites across the UK.
All in all, good news for the construction industry.