The Government has been warned it needs to extend the stamp duty holiday if it does not want to run the risk of damaging the recent recovery in the housing market.
As part of the Government's attempts to encourage people to move and revitalise a struggling property market, a temporary stamp duty threshold of £175,000 has been in place since September last year, up from the usual level of £125,000.
However, with the holiday set to come to a close at the end of 2009, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) believes it is possible much of the good that has been achieved could quickly be undone.
The chairman of the federation, Stewart Baseley, said it was vital that support is maintained for housing development in the Pre-Budget Report and also called for further assistance for first time buyers, along with an extension of the Homebuy Direct and Kickstart schemes.
The recent problems in the housing and mortgage markets have hit first time buyers hard. Although property prices have fallen, finance in the form of first time buyer mortgages has become hard to come by.
"If I have one big message for Government, it is a plea not to withdraw incentives, as I fear to do so would potentially slow the market just as it is beginning to show signs of recovery," Baseley added.
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