The efforts of this week’s Budget to revive the housing market disappointed many, including first time buyers, mortgage lenders, estate agents and housing associations.

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, announced a £600 million package including:

• An extension of the stamp duty tax holiday until the end of this year for those properties selling for less than £175,000
• A £400 million injection to allow house builders to complete work on stalled property developments
• Just £100 million to assist councils in building 900 homes on town hall land to rent
• £80 million towards a government-backed shared equity property scheme to help first time buyers with insufficient deposits
• £50 million to refurbish Armed Forces properties

Critics stated that the funds were only a drop in the ocean and did not provide funds for a sizeable social housing scheme.

Even the Governments own calculations estimate the funding announced yesterday will only fund a small fraction of the target required, an estimated 10,000 new homes. Council home waiting lists are expected to rise by another half a million to around five million by the end of this year.

Re-introducing the stamp duty tax next year has been criticised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), who said the tax reintroduction is likely to harm the bottom end of the market and the threshold will not benefit those in the South where property is more expensive.

Although the announcements will not doubt help somewhat, there is so much more that the Government could have done.

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