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Following the recent announcement from the Government on a package of measures to help the current market including the stamp duty threshold being increased on properties worth £175,000 and under for the next 12 months, Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive of The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the residential sales arm of the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP), comments:

“We are pleased a decision was made by the Government today, as the indecision over the last month has had a major effect on consumer confidence. Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction however, I am still concerned as I do not believe the decisions made will help the entire market. The stamp duty threshold has risen from £125,000 to £175,000 and this is not going to have the impact needed to revive the housing market as London and much of the South East will have no effect due to the high average price of first time buyer properties. As an association we still continue to urge the Government to offer a stamp duty holiday for any real positive contribution to be made to the market.

“The Government’s announcement today on stamp duty forms part of a package of measures to restore confidence in the market, including offering ‘free’ five year loans of up to 30 per cent of the property’s value for first time buyers when buying a new home from developers and those who earn less than £60,000 will qualify. In the current market this comes as good news. However, again this is only helpful for first time buyers in the short term and it is concerning as this could have a negative effect on the second hand home market. Additionally, it is a shame that the proposal does not cover the whole market.

“It is encouraging to see that the Government has taken notice of the continuing reminder from external parties that it is not just one factor that needs sorting but a number of problems. The NAEA welcomes today’s announcement however encourages the Government to continue along this path to the finish line.”

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