Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Commenting on today's budget, Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide, the UK's largest property services Group said;
"If today's Budget is about work, then we ask the Government to make it work for the property market.
Achieving economic stability should not come at the cost of homeownership so our support for increasing Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is conditional. We call on the Government to 'ring fence' the Treasury income gained from these new SDLT measures to address the chronic issues holding back the property market, namely deposit affordability and house building.
The additional income raised should be used to abolish Stamp Duty for first-time buyers, expand the Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee Scheme (MIGS) beyond NewBuy to re-sale purchases and support the construction market to address the chronic housing supply issues.
Without ring-fencing the money gained from today's SDLT measures, the Government is simply succumbing to a short sighted way of generating money for the Treasury that will ultimately prohibit people from accessing the property ladder.
An exclusive YouGov survey commissioned by Countrywide for the Budget shows that 42% of all UK adults aged between 18-34 claimed being unable to afford a deposit as the main reason they were unable to buy a property. The Government had the opportunity in today's Budget to tackle mortgage availability which is one of the major hurdles for first time buyers.
More needs to be done. The SDLT system as a whole is outdated and prohibitive to increasing house sales in the current market, which is half the long-term average. We believe that the thresholds should be reviewed and paid on a percentage basis for properties over £250,000 i.e. if a house is bought for £260,000 you would pay a certain amount of SDLT on the additional £10,000
The Government has said that the public should know what their money is being sent on and that good taxing is about support, so we ask what do they intend to do with this additional revenue? We call on them to use it to support a recovery in the housing market as a strong, vibrant housing market contributes to GDP growth and will dramatically improve the economy. Today's Budget hasn't given the housing market the impetus it needs and the lack of a clear strategy to achieve a balance between housing demand and supply through tax relief and incentives must go down as a missed opportunity."
Survey Note: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 6215 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 19th March 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
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