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What agents want from today’s mini-Budget

New Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to unveil the Government’s so-called “plan for growth” today during a mini-Budget.

The property market is already expecting a much-flagged Stamp Duty cut while there have also been rumours of changes to Corporation Tax and National Insurance.
Agency trade body Propertymark has a few more ideas it would like to see announced.

It has put forward a five point plan that calls for energy bill support for agencies beyond the six-month period already announced, incentives to make existing housing stock more energy efficient and a 12-month exemption on the additional Stamp Duty charge.


Propertymark has also called for more focused housebuilding targets on the need for each tenure across the country as well as a review of the Local Housing Allowance rates to support tenants on low incomes.

Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaigns at Propertymark, said: “In the past year there have been four names over the door of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and we’ve run out of fingers on which to count the number of housing ministers in recent years. 

“This is just one department. We need a period of political stability across Westminster along with bold ideas to address our sector's many live issues.

“Our members tell us time and time again that they do not have enough homes to sell or rent, this is creating affordability issues particularly in the private rented sector.

“We have a Prime Minister who has committed to a programme of tax cuts and a new Secretary of State for Housing who has already acknowledged the need to build more homes, let’s see a clear and decisive plan of how they intend to turn those words into positive action to stimulate both markets.

“Our plan restates our call for a strategy to retrofit homes with tailored and sustained funding, especially as mortgage providers start to consider energy performance certificate ratings in lending criteria. This must not be allowed to stagnate the market.

“It’s also important to remember estate and letting agencies are businesses that make a significant contribution to the economy. They need support to ensure they remain viable, particularly in the light of the high cost of energy and fuel and are left wondering whether the six-month energy price cap will be enough.”

Agents have been broadly supportive of a Stamp Duty cut, but there are concerns about the difference this would now make to getting on the property ladder after the Bank of England hiked interest rates yesterday to 2.25%.

Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “The forces of gravity continue to build for UK house prices, which will inevitably return to earth. 

“The cost of a five-year fixed-rate mortgage has almost tripled over the last year and this upwards trajectory will continue. Almost four million first-time buyer mortgages have been issued since 2009, which is a large group of homeowners who don’t know what it’s like when monthly interest payments rise meaningfully. 

“There is still backed-up demand in the housing market, which will be prolonged by a stamp duty cut. 

“However, any saving is likely to be eclipsed by rising rates. What the Government gives, the Bank of England more than takes away.”


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