Mullucks Wells expresses disappointment with budget for 'Tinkering at the Edges'.

Local estate agent Mullucks Wells has expressed its disappointment with last week’s budget for “merely tinkering at the edges” of the property market.
In his statement of March 23, Chancellor George Osborne announced a series of measures designed to boost the housing market – including a relaxation of planning regulations, help for first time buyers, and changes to the way that stamp duty is levied on bulk property purchases.
But Director William Wells says that much more needs to be done if the changes are to have any noticeable effect.
He said: “There seems to be a lack of boldness from the Government in giving the property market the boost that it’s crying out for. We need some dynamic thinking as well as open discussions with experts in estate agency, so that they can provide genuine help for those trying to buy and sell in one of the toughest markets in a generation. Sadly, the evidence so far suggests that they are merely tinkering at the edges.
“The reform of stamp duty should be a key priority. This tax may be an easy earner for the Exchequer, but current levels are so prohibitively high that people are making the decision not to move at all. This leads to a lack of trading in the property market – which ironically means that the Government is actually collecting less tax rather than more.
“This is only going to be exacerbated by the new stamp duty band of 5% for those buying properties priced at £1m and more, due to come into effect from April 6th. To clobber the supposedly wealthy with an extra 1% tax liability means that from next week these people will have to find a minimum of an extra £10,000 simply to move house.”
William Wells also said that there was a danger of the property market stagnating if mortgage lending did not improve.
He added: “Simplifying the planning process is a step in the right direction. But it’s the lack of mortgage finance available that’s really choking the market – especially for first time buyers, who are having to turn to the Bank of Mum & Dad to get the 25% deposit they need. The £250m assisted deposit proposal may sound a lot of money, but in the grand scheme of things it’s just too small to make the impact that the Government is hoping for.”