Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver his Autumn Statement this afternoon amid rumours of Stamp Duty reforms and support for first-time buyers.
The property market has slowed in recent moths, with transactions down and house prices falling annually.
Hunt delivers his latest fiscal update in a different environment to last year with inflation slowing and hopes that interest rates have peaked.
But even Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has this week warned markets to not get overexcited by falling inflation and there is still the possibility of the UK entering recession and that rates rise again, especially with Middle East turmoil and the oil price rising.
There are rumours of a Stamp Duty cut, mainly focused on downsizers.
Rob Houghton, founder of reallymoving, suggested this would only really help equity-rich buyers, with support better-focused on first-time buyers.
He said: “Scrapping Stamp Duty for downsizers would target help at equity-rich homeowners, when right now support is more urgently needed at the other end of the market.
“Our data shows downsizers are already a very active group this year, motivated by the desire to reduce energy bills by switching to a smaller home that’s cheaper to run, which is helping free up larger family homes.”
He suggested another Stamp Duty holiday would would free up the market and encourage people at every level to move but warned that tinkering with the thresholds would only inflate prices in the short-term, as buyers rush to move sooner than they otherwise would have, pushing home ownership further out of reach for first-time buyers.
Colby Short, chief executive of GetAgent, said Stamp Duty incentives would give the property market a much-needed boost but added: “Of course, the long term health of the property market would be better cultivated by actually addressing the shortage of housing, but as the Government has proved time and time again, they are a one trick pony when it comes to housing initiatives.”
Agents and property professionals will also be hoping for news on first-time buyer supprot such as an extension of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme or a Help to Buy-style initiative.
Others may want further work on property supply.
Jonathan Rolande, spokesman for the National Association of Property Buyers, added that the Government shouldn’t be so reliant on the private sector for housebuilding.
He said: Housebuilders will only build for profit and have a vested interest in constraining supply to keep prices high.
“Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has accused the housebuilding industry of acting like a cartel. If the sales market is flat, the number of new homes being built falls drastically.
“The Government has undershot its own targets for years and some 1.1m homes have been granted planning permission in the last decade but have never been built. Central and local government administrations need to be empowered to begin building on their own land with a view to renting homes to local residents. New affordable homes are desperately needed and this is one way to kickstart a reversal of decades of underinvestment.”