Countrywide budget response

Countrywide

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Commenting on today's budget, Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide, the UK's largest property services Group said ;

"The measures announced today are a step in the right direction for the thousands of buyers struggling to get on the property ladder. First time buyers underpin the property market and there is pent up demand for assistance like this. As the UK's largest new build agent, we're confident that the launch of the Firstbuy direct scheme will encourage more first time buyers to purchase new build properties - which is great news for both first time buyers and housebuilders.

"However it is disappointing to see a lack of measures to  assist  the vast majority of  homemovers. A stamp duty holiday for all purchases up to £250,000 would have been a welcomed boost to the resale market.

"Mortgage accessibility and affordability remains a critical issue, as 70 percent of all mortgages applied for in 2010 required a minimum of 25 percent deposit.*  As the UK's largest mortgage broker and letting agent, our records show that many buyers are still unable to raise the large deposits currently required by mortgage providers. This is increasing the demand for rental properties. So far this year we have seen a 14 percent fall in the number of rental properties available on the market, whilst the number of tenants applying for rental accommodation has hit a record high - with a 37% increase on last year.

"This lack of supply and growth in demand looks set to continue, as today's budget did not provide any incentives for buy-to-let landlords. Despite the increase in capital gains tax being lower than originally expected, the 10 percent increase will invariably make new investors think twice."

* CML statistic

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