Chancellor Rishi Sunak may have taken a last minute decision not to increase the stamp duty surcharge paid by landlords and second home buyers.
The government had planned to hike the three percentage point surcharge on additional property purchases to four percentage points, first reported by the Daily Telegraph.
In the economic and fiscal outlook, the Office for Budget Responsibility said: “A 3pc surcharge on additional property purchases was introduced in April 2016. It has been raised to 4pc in this Budget.”
“HMRC has analysed the response to its introduction and found that it was strong,” the document added.
Sunak did not announce such an increase at the dispatch box on Wednesday, suggesting it was ditched at the midnight hour.
Property analysts said they anticipated a rise would be declared sometime in the future.
Neal Hudson of BuiltPlace, a housing market analyst, told the Telegraph newspaper that a surcharge rise for investors could come as a bid to aid first-time buyers.
Hudson added: We can presume there were detailed conversations about increasing the surcharge, which were changed at the last minute.
“Landlords and second homeowners were included in the stamp duty holiday this year and last, and some would argue this has contributed to the severe housing stock we are currently faced with.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if the Government was looking at this to rebalance the market and make up for some of the failings of the holiday.”