On new housebuilding programme:
“We welcome the Right-to-Buy pilot scheme. Britain is still a nation of homeowners and it is good to see measures to help more people’s dream of owning a home become reality.
“Help to Buy has been a very effective tool in the market and it is good to hear that more homes will be built with this purpose in mind, particularly in London. However, the Government needs to continue to keep a close watch on this. The potential for more help in the shared ownership market is also extremely welcome and continues to stimulate the overall building of new homes and home ownership.
“I welcomed the news this week from some of the banks about providing mortgages for older people, but the Chancellor needs to take a look at the whole market – as Osborne said himself we need to “extend the opportunity to all and provide homes for our families”. There are still extremely Draconian measures in place, which prevent many young folk from getting on the property ladder. Otherwise we are in danger of creating bubbles in the market.
“Overall, we need an even approach to housing with a smooth transactional process the whole way along – we need the entire chain working together. This way the industry can eventually resolve the spiralling price crisis.”
On lack of changes to stamp duty system:
“It is good to hear that new rates of stamp duty have been brought in for buy-to-let and second homes, as stamp duty, even at the top end of the market, is extremely important. However, since the Chancellor changed the stamp duty bands this time last year, we have clearly seen the top end of the market killed off, with a marked slowdown in the number of transactions taking place. The Chancellor needed to do something about this today and it is disappointing that he didn’t. It is all very well hitting the £1.5 – 2million + market, but this is making many people decide against moving, with many choosing to extend their homes instead. This is not helping transactional throughput in the entire market. There is no point in freeing up the bottom end of the market if it is stuck because of the top end – it is much like a toothpaste tube.”