The extension of the Stamp Duty holiday for properties up to £175bn the NAEA says is “disappointing” and adds that now was the perfect opportunity for the chancellor to get rid of the tax.
Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, says: “In this difficult economic time, Mr Darling could have seized the opportunity to encourage first time buyers to the market and to send a signal of confidence that may have reverberated around the economy.
“Instead he has tried to choose a path to please everyone, which I suspect will please no one.”
Bolton King has also criticised the speed at which the government’s Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme has taken to come in and that detail is needed on the lenders that have not signed up to it and are setting up their own schemes.
He adds: “The housing market is the engine of the UK economy and it is likely that this Budget will be remembered as largely ineffectual given the magnitude of the problem.
“There is very little here for first time buyers, who need more encouragement to climb onto the property ladder – which will get everything moving.
“Mr Darling has used a water pistol to try to put out a fire.”