Experts from across the UK’s property sector criticised the government of Theresa May for the ‘missed opportunity to create a housing market that works for us all’.
Paul Smith, a senior figure in UK real estate, spoke for many when he said: “Today’s Spring Statement was a slap in the face for the property industry. The current government claims to be determined to fix the broken housing market, but today’s speech was a recital of past announcements and lacked any material attempts for change.
“Brexit has overshadowed the parliamentary calendar for too long.”
Smith hit out at the negative effects of stamp duty for older people and families. “The rungs on our housing ladder are broken, and the government must address and reform our system so it is fit for purpose,” he said.
A second senior figure, Nick Leeming, added that the property industry and home movers were desperately hoping for some relief, in stamp duty reductions, but were left empty handed. “Hammond’s pot of gold, which is set aside to assist with any upset caused by a no-deal Brexit, could have been put to far better use,” said Leeming.
He also took aim at taxes levied on holiday let owners, who he said were running businesses and contributing to local economies. “They shouldn’t be penalised,” he argued.
With the prospect of an extension to Brexit negotiations, following the defeat of the government’s plans on Tuesday 12 March, the property sector (along with the rest of the economy) may face more months of uncertainty and dampened activity.