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Calls for first-time buyer and new build help in Budget

Calls for first-time buyer and new build help in Budget
Shekina Tuahene
Written By:
Shekina Tuahene

Property professionals want Government schemes to help the first-time buyer sector and support the new-build market, a survey has shown.

A poll conducted by Countrywide Surveying Services (CSS) found that property professionals wanted first-time buyer and new build initiatives to be introduced in the upcoming Spring Budget. 

When asked ‘What do you most want to see from the Chancellor in March’s Budget?’, 35 per cent of respondents said the reintroduction of Help to Buy or something similar to support the new-build and first-time buyer sectors. 

More than a fifth – 22 per cent – of respondents said a stamp duty holiday or reduction, 17 per cent chose an inheritance tax cut and 16 per cent selected changes to stamp duty for downsizers. 

A tenth of respondents said they would like to see more support for landlords. 

Mixed views on property market future 

As for their thoughts for the year ahead, 41 per cent of respondents said there were reasons to be optimistic, while the same proportion said there were ‘possibly’ reasons to be hopeful for the future. 

Some 13 per cent said they were ‘unsure’ about the market, and five per cent said there was ‘probably not’ a reason to be positive. 

Despite the mixed sentiment towards the future of the property market, none of the respondents said there was no reason to be optimistic about the next 12 months. 

The prospect of a Labour Government 

The property professionals were also asked about what impact a Labour win and Government might have on the sector. 

Some 43 per cent of respondents said there would be an increase in social housing, an option that received the most votes. Some 13 per cent said a Labour Government would improve the planning process to boost housing supply. 

A further 11 per cent of respondents predicted Labour would make it more viable for first-time buyers to own their first home and, similarly, 11 per cent believed Labour would increase tenant protections around no-fault evictions. 

A tenth said a new Government would make empty properties liveable and prevent tenants from living in sub-standard conditions, while two per cent expected Section 21 would be removed.  

The responses were generated at CSS’ regular webinar, and more than 300 people attended. The panel included Graham Sellar, head of business development and key account team at Santander UK, Rob Stevens, head of property risk at Nationwide, Timothy Bannister, director of property science innovation at Rightmove, and Kate Faulkner OBE, chair of the Home Buying and Selling Group. 

The event was hosted by Martyn Stones, director of technical services at Countrywide Surveying Services, who said: “It’s clear from these results that the industry is looking for the Government to generate some additional assistance when it comes to opening the doors for more first-time buyers and in helping to bridge the gaping supply gap that continues to widen, especially from an affordability perspective. And I’m sure this applies to whichever party happens to be in power. 

“The upcoming budget has the potential to have a major influence on the housing and mortgage markets and it will be interesting to see what, if any, of the highlighted measures come into effect and their short-, medium- or longer-term impact.”