30 Nov

NAEA calls for housing market stimulation

NAEA calls for housing market stimulation

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has called on the government to provide more stimulus for the housing market in order to help its recovery.

In a submission delivered to chancellor Alistair Darling, the organisation recommended an extension to the current stamp duty holiday coupled with a long-term review of the tax, greater intervention in mortgage markets and the suspension of home information packs.

The NAEA also urged the government to improve access to finance for first-time buyers.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the national body, said: "The lack of available mortgage finance is significantly hampering the supply of - and access to - mortgages. A more interventionist strategy is now required to force banks to lend again."

Commenting on stamp duty, Mr Bolton King described it as an "unpopular" and "out-of-date" tax that requires urgent reform. He also noted that ending the stamp duty holiday in December could damage the market considerably given its fragile state.

The government announced the stamp duty holiday in September 2008 in a bid to revive the housing market. The threshold, which was raised to £175,000, is due to revert back to its original £125,000 limit at the end of December this year.

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