Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agent, comments on yesterday’s Budget housing announcements: “Yesterday’s stamp duty cut for first-time buyers should finally inject a ‘feel good’ factor into the housing market, which it has not seen in a while. The opportunity to own a home of your own should be a reality for everyone in the UK – and now for thousands more it is. I also welcome the Chancellor’s enthusiasm to build more new homes, however as an industry we must ensure that the type of housing built fits the UK’s family’s needs

“I expect we will now see a surge in housing market activity. We have plenty of buyers on our books who were waiting for a nudge like this to have the confidence to buy. However, yesterday’s announcement is just a half-way house for aspiring buyers in London. The Chancellor’s changes mean that first-time buyers in the capital will see their cheque to HMRC cut from £11,000 to £6,000 – this is just a snowflake off the iceberg for the many who are frozen out of home ownership.

“Research shows that 58 per cent of people who do not already own a home are saving nothing at all for a deposit each month to buy. For this cohort yesterday’s announcement will mean nothing. Only a move towards 100 per cent mortgages is a straightforward way to get young people out of renting and into homes.

“Even an increase to 95 per cent would save the average London first-time buyer £21,000 on their deposit bill. The Chancellor is certainly making a move in the right direction, but we need to see more radical reform if the Government wishes to preserve the UK’s legacy as nation of home owners.”