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Budget will have no direct impact on London property

Dominic Agace, Managing Director of Winkworth Franchising said: "The Budget will have no direct impact on the London housing market with no further direct steps to improve affordability for the average London buyer. With very few properties under the £175,000 threshold, in order to help London buyers, the Stamp Duty threshold should be raised to £250,000 and should be a phased increase to avoid market distortions around key prices."

Charles Peerless, Franchisee of Winkworth West End said: "Stamp Duty increased as the market was rising and it’s a shame that it is not being reduced now, as the market struggles – especially for properties above the £175,000 mark."

The Government’s bid to kick-start stalled housing projects and increase the supply of housing could also, in fact, have a detrimental effect on prices.

Ian Fraser, Franchisee of Winkworth Islington said: "Once again, the Government is doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. None of the announcements made today will have any real impact on the housing market. In fact, one could argue that increasing the supply of housing could have the opposite effect on prices."

Agace said: "Stalled housing projects are on hold because of historically low buyer interest due to constrained buyer affordability, therefore perhaps money would be better spent on firstly improving conditions for buyers."

Buyer confidence is the vital factor in reviving the housing market and therefore the Government’s plans to protect jobs could have more of a positive effect on the housing market than the housing measures.

Agace said: "On indirect measures, we hope that steps to improve employment will help, although this may have a greater effect on the rental market than the sales market at this point, with the focus on younger people."

Josh Kravitz, Franchisee of Winkworth Tottenham said: "I don’t think the extension to the Stamp Duty holiday will make much difference – what really matters to people at the moment is job security. Therefore, the measures taken by the Government to protect jobs is what will really make the difference in increasing buyer confidence."

Further, the Chancellor’s decision to increase tax to 50% for those earning over £150,000, will create an additional burden for those in this category and living in London. Given that the average family house in London costs anything between £400,000 and £1million, and in some cases, much more, this tax measure will limit this demographic group’s ability to move up the property ladder.

This would affect sales at this level in the London market, which will of course have an impact on all other levels.

Agace said: "It is still the quantative easing and the low interest rates that will directly define the property market, and the evidence so far is that these are feeding through with greatly increased buyer activity and the number of transactions undertaken improving in the property market at the moment.

"This still remains well below pre- 2007 levels, and price increases are not imminent. However, the positive signs are there in the property market."

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