Housing market: doing nothing is not an option

The Association of Home Information Pack Providers has urged the Government to stop dithering over stamp duty

AHIPP has issued a fresh call for the Government to make clear its position on stamp duty, as well as suggesting other ways to help the property market.

They are supporting the National Association of Estate Agents' (NAEA) request that the Government provide clarity and certainty without delay.

Last week Chancellor Alistair Darling said that he was looking at possible measures the Government could take to boost the market, and housing minister Caroline Flint confirmed in an interview on BBC's Newsnight that stamp duty is one area under consideration, although no decision will be made before November.

Mike Ockenden, Director General of AHIPP argued that this delay will mean many delaying house purchases until November to see if they can save money then.

He said, "The few buyers that were out in the market place have put their plans on hold in the hope that moving house will become cheaper in the next month or so.

"This dithering by the Government is making a desperate situation even starker," Mr Ockenden added.

AHIPP have also supported a call from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and other industry bodies for the Government to incentivise lenders to start issuing bonds into the public markets through an existing monetary policy instrument.

The AHIPP are also calling on the Government to provide tangible support for property developers to help re-ignite the market.

Mr Ockenden said, "The suspension of stamp duty, incentives to mortgage lenders and support for developers will give the Government a real chance of kick starting this dreadful market. 

"The number of new properties standing empty is astonishing.  By taking in these lower priced completed properties Government could provide real support to key workers, particularly in inner city areas," he went on to say.

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