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Housing

“Mr Hunt had an opportunity today to inject some optimism into the housing market, but he’s fallen short.”

Commenting on today’s budget Jonathan Rolande, from the National Association Of Property Buyers, said: “We saw a mini recovery in the housing market in January but it was fragile and lost momentum in February. I was hoping to see the property market directly targeted by the Chancellor today. I was hoping to see this not because I want to see house prices rise – we’ve had quite enough of that over the past few years.

“But what the market desperately needs is some optimism. Right now you can’t say that it is working well for anybody – landlords are leaving the sector, tenants are paying huge rents in an ultra-competitive field, sellers in many areas have little hope of finding a reliable buyer and the buyers themselves have seen borrowing cost rocket, without the rebalancing of a big drop in asking prices.

“Mr Hunt had an opportunity today to inject some optimism into the housing market, but he’s fallen short.

“Without the hope that prices will remain steady and buyer numbers will increase, who will invest into buying land and building the hundreds of thousands of homes we need?

“Who will look to convert disused industrial, retail and other commercial sites back into desperately needed homes?

“What will prompt a downsizer to move and free up family-sized homes – often paying £10,000 in taxes and fees for the privilege of doing so?

“What will encourage a landlord to insulate their property, making life cheaper and more comfortable for their tenants?

“I wanted to see the property market focussed on to begin the process of giving hope to first time buyers that they will get the same opportunity to own a home that their parents and grandparents had.

“Other than tinkering with Capital Gains Tax to allow sellers to pay less on their profits and a Stamp Duty amendment that will make very little difference to most buyers. And there was barely a mention of property and the crisis we face.”