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Pre Budget Report – bah humbug, says property industry!

publication date: Dec 23, 2009
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Alistair DarlingDarling confirmed the end of the stamp duty holiday, raised National Insurance rates and returned VAT to 17.5 per cent. None of this was particularly surprising but it was disappointing that there weren’t any tidings of comfort, let alone joy in a very Scrooge-like report.

Big bonus bankers protected, electric car purchasers protected (all 100 of them), developers of affordable homes protected. Property industry – nil points. Nothing to encourage lenders to lend or borrowers to borrow for a new home. The only mention of the private rented sector was that there will be another review!

The only thing that has brought any inkling of a smile at the PROPERTYdrum office are the comments from property folk – purely because at least hey can still come up with a sharp comment!

“A poke in the eye!”
Nick Jopling, Head of Residential at CB Richard Ellis said: “An extension to the stamp duty holiday would have been welcome, particularly as the capital receipt for the Government equates to £500 per property from those who can least afford it. At its very best, it could be described as a poke in the eye to any first-time buyers trying to grasp the lowest rung of the housing ladder.”

“Political posturing”

Charles McDowell, London property consultant: “This lame duck budget is basically political posturing prior to election. The current Government’s war on the City does nothing but diminish tax revenues and highlights the continuing value of property as an important asset class, particularly if inflation begins to rise. The old adage ‘safe as houses’ will be more relevant than ever in 2010.”

“Darling has shied away from taking any real decision”

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Clearly we need more homes and clearly there’s little money in the current model. What people need to understand is that – by definition – rental housing is affordable housing.”

“It is hard to see what this further review (of the PRS) will achieve”
Simon Gordon, National Landlords Association, said: “We are still awaiting the outcome from the previous consultation process and the Government is yet to make clear what questions remain to be answered before they publish their proposals."

Still, ARLA sounds mildly excited by the boiler scrappage scheme.
Ian Potter, Operations Manager said: "We await with interest further details of the boiler scrappage scheme to see if there will be any real benefit to the PRS."