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To the surprise of some, the National Association of Estate Agents says Labour's proposals to scrap stamp duty for first time buyers spending under £300,000 could be a real vote swinger which would only mean good things for young purchasers.

NAEA managing director Mark Hayward says: For many, hidden costs such as stamp duty can be the difference between being able to afford a home, and not being able to afford one. Our recent research showed that just under a third of house sales were made to first time buyers, and hopefully we'll see this significantly increase over the next three years.

He continues that: This could be a real vote swinger for those looking to step on the housing ladder. Scrapping stamp duty for homes under the price of £300,000 would only mean good things for hopeful first time buyers.

Not everyone in the industry has been so supportive.

Jeremy Blackburn of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, says that while it would help some first time buyers, the drawback is that it is tinkering with demand.

Prices are already predicted to rise in the next parliament and this is only likely to make matters worse. The promise of one million homes by 2020 is an ambitious target, but Labour has not fully explained how they expect to remove obstacles to such a supply-side revolution. What we need is a drastic increase in supply. he says.

Nick Leeming - chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff and one of the few property industry figures to give strongly-worded support to the Conservatives' extension of Right To Buy to housing association properties - says Labour is stirring up an intergenerational war.

We want to avoid an intergenerational conflict where the young are pitched against the old over property ownership. We need policies that do not distort markets as this has a short-term effect, rather than delivering a long-term benefit he says.

Meanwhile Naomi Heaton of London Central Portfolio, a residential fund manager, has described the Labour first time buyer initiative as a load of old cobblers and rubbish.


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    Yet another Labour "initiative" trying desperately to buy votes. Will it happen Doubt it!

    • 28 April 2015 17:27 PM
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    @RayEvans, property shouldn't be treated as a market, that's the main issue. Housing is a basic need and right, it shouldn't be treated as an investment opportunity or a way to make money. The property market should be properly regulated and work in the best interests of the many, not the few. Idealistic, maybe, but when did housing become all about the money, money, money (as Jessie J says).

    So in your dream world there should never be any government intervention, ever. That would have worked out well when the banks needed to be bailed out. And the private rail companies are doing a wonderful job of running the railways, when the government-run (until very recently) East Coast Line was returning a profit and had very high levels of satisfaction. Sometimes, the government do need to step in, the housing sector is one of these areas. Otherwise you get the ridiculous situation we have now, where 250,000 is seen as a bargain.

    • 28 April 2015 16:34 PM
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    We need many more houses built,with net immigration at over 180,000,about 100,000 are needed to accomodate imigrants.
    The planning system grows as consultants advise need for more consulants,council officers refuse permission,rather than asking for extra time,newts,flora,aircraft noise,bats,conservation officers so many jobs worths.
    We have regressed and housing is a scandal,with vested interests by all,to keep house prices going up,at same time as pretending to act,only because of an election.
    The RICS are so right,and politicians will say anything to get votes.
    Dropping stamp duty will actually push up prices with too many people chasing too few goods is textbook inflation.
    Release 5 million house plots,land values would fall,and properties would become affordable,but builders could only build so many as we have not enough tradesmen,or materials!

    • 28 April 2015 16:12 PM
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    Government interference in any market always eventually ends in tears - we are either a free market economy or we are not.

    • 28 April 2015 16:03 PM
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    Nick Leeming wants to see "policies that do not distort the market" but strongly supports the extension of the right to buy schemes which will seriously distort the market by enabling tenants to buy non-state owned property at a discount which will reduce even more the amount of quality social housing on the market. Let's forget the old chestnut of using the money to build new affordable homes as there will not be enough money and most of them will be built in different localities to those sold. "We want to avoid inter-generational conflict"; the majority of housing association tenants are relatively young.

    • 28 April 2015 09:06 AM
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