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Budget 2009 – an estate agent’s view

Fuel up 2p a litre – had to happen. We have a small company car so get great mpg. However, amazing to think a litre of petrol is still the same as a litre of bottled water!

Car scrapping scheme – can’t see it working as the very people who own cars worth £2000 or less are not the people who buy a new car in the first place.

Coupled with the fact that as soon as you drive your new car out of the show room you have lost 40% of its value is madness in a time when people don’t have that kind of money just to throw away – this is also assuming finance is available to help purchase said vehicle, and for that you need job security, which very few of us currently have!

Taxing those earning more than £150,000 – this affects so few people as to be almost insignificant I would have thought! Certainly there won’t be many Estate Agents in this bracket!

As for all the predictions on economic growth, public borrowing and consumer price inflation, well these are exactly that – predictions.

Seeing as this current Government couldn’t predict MPs claiming huge amounts of money for "second homes" would be unpopular with the electorate, I don’t hold out much faith on these figures.

As for jobs and training, surely all these schemes are a cover to massage the real issue of mass unemployment. I assume the rationale is if you are on a training scheme you don’t show up as an unemployment statistic, thereby fooling everyone that all is well in the world of Gordon and his pals.

Keep students in colleges thereby slowing down their release onto the job market is also a good idea as far as massaging figures go.

Now housing, the one I had been waiting for. All they had to do was order banks and building societies under the control of the Government to start lending for mortgage purposes.

The housing market, like the car industry, is a barometer of the country’s health, and in reality only when the economy is
deemed healthy and the issues of job security and mortgage lending have been addressed will the housing market get going.

Sure all these gimmicks won’t do any harm but they are not the major kick-start needed.

Keeping stamp duty at £175,000 may help some first-time buyers, but only those lucky enough to have a 25% plus deposit in order to qualify for a mortgage – and there goes the wheel, round and round once more back to the availability of finance!

Armed forces housing is an interesting one. I would assume a war, or two such as Iraq and Afghanistan, means the majority of soldiers living under canvass thereby not really needing housing. But what happens when all the soldiers  come home – hey presto they will need homes!

No comment really on savings as I don’t know many people who have any – and if they do they are keeping it liquid "just in case".

Public spending cut – that’s a disgrace as it will almost certainly be the most vulnerable and needy who will suffer. Cut the allowance for MPs’ expenses and second homes and that will probably be the 0.4% cut in public expenses detailed!

I am personally glad that the environment gets a mention as it’s having a pretty bad time at the moment however the off-shore wind projects and other energy-efficient schemes may be too little too late to make any major impact.

Nice pensioners also get a few extra quid and more money to pay for their heating costs however with all this global warming hopefully that won’t be needed!

Anyway, how will this Budget affect me personally? Not really sure however if there was something to stop my wife from spending money then that would get my vote!

Andrew Vos, MNAEA, is a director of Space Residential in Edgware, London

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