Help To Buy : WTF?

(That stands for ‘What The Flip‘, BTW…)

We don’t usually try and be particularly topical on this blog; mainly due to a lack of time in general, compounded by the difficulty of following stories as they develop, but I’m sure by now you have spotted various stories about one of the four government-backed home ownership schemes – of which Help to Buy is the one picking up the most headlines at the moment.


Is it any good for me? Any good for wider society, the economy or the environment? Well, we can only scratch the surface of some of these deep seated housing market and land rights issues here, and have a good look at what various other sources are saying about it. Read on…

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VAT on self build projects

In the UK, Value Added Tax is a ‘consumption tax’, meaning it is passed down the supply chain to the buyer. Individuals rarely get to claim this back in any way, though the business that do the ‘adding value’ part of things generally can; if only to offset the VAT passed down to them by suppliers.

Long story short, if you are building your own house (or some conversions), you are given some of the tax benefits that are usually only available to businesses. This can mean some really hefty savings with VAT currently at 20%. (sidenote: Hungary has the highest rate in the EU at 27%).

Graphic from the institute for hospitality, who, by the way are annoyed that UK hotels dont get better tax breaks

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