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
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"unpopular" and "out-of-date" tax that requires urgent reform.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.