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Autumn Statement brings ‘little cheer’ for the housing market’

Brokers damned chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday last week as offering little in the way of promises to stimulate the housing market.

The allusion in the chancellor’s speech to 120,000 new homes was a reference to previously announced projections, while stamp duty taxes remained untouched.

Chadney Bulgin mortgage partner Jonathan Clark says: “we all knew that this statement was going to be more about cuts than spending but despite this, there was little cheer for the housing market.

“It would have been good to have seen another stamp duty holiday of some description and the promise to ‘help fund a further 120,000 further homes’ was lacking in detail.”

The Chancellor also announced an extension to the Support for Mortgage Interest scheme, due to expire next month, until March 2015.

While positive for high net worth individuals, there is disappointment that the Chancellor did not take the opportunity to either roll back stamp duty or impose a holiday.

Enness director Hugh Wade-Jones says: “I think what they should be doing is more to help people get on the property ladder in the first place.

“I would rather see a holiday up to £250,000 or even a complete break to a certain level. Although it would not directly benefit my business, I think that is really what should be done to help the economy.”

A so-called “mansion tax” on expensive properties was also entirely ruled out.

Osborne said a property tax would be “expensive”, “intrusive”, difficult to recoup and that it would be tempting for future Governments to expand the number of properties that would be caught by the tax.

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