Muted reaction to government plans

Amanda Jarvis

January 25, 2005

David Bexon, Chief Executive of SmartNewHomes.com, the UK’s leading new homes website, comments: “The Government has gone some way to alleviating many of the problems that are making property increasingly unaffordable for first time buyers and others in this country. However a core problem is the imbalance between supply and demand and this still needs to be addressed to ensure the success of these initiatives.

“The new homes industry offers many incentives for first time buyers such as paying stamp duty and assisting with mortgage payments. In addition, we at SmartNewHomes.com have just launched a competition for a homebuyer to win their mortgage paid for a year. However, the responsibility for long-term assistance enabling the future generations of this nation to own their own home rests with the Government.

“There are immediate measures the Government could take to alleviate the plight of first-time buyers. Stamp duty on house purchases becomes a burden too far for some youngsters, and we support the call for the threshold to be significantly raised in the next Budget.

“And if the Government is serious about tackling the housing shortage, it will have to do more than set up quangos like the Planning Advisory Service announced last December. Its aims are very worthy, but what the industry needs is a strong lead to inspire planning authorities to process applications faster and more constructively.”

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