Comment: Budget feels boring after stamp duty holiday high
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Any thoughts on last week's Budget?
It was a bit low on crowd-pleasing stamp duty holidays if you ask me. This time around, it was all about the building of new homes and redevelopment of brownfield sites – a lot less exciting than a possible £15k saving.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak's £24bn housing package included £11.5bn for potentially 180,000 new affordable homes and £1.8bn for the development of up to 1,500 hectares of brownfield land.
He promised this would be enough to "unlock a million new homes", but his critics weren't convinced.
Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said the affordable homes pledge "simply isn’t enough".
With the government "consistently failing to meet their previous housebuilding targets, it will be a miracle if we see a brick laid on brownfield land or a meaningful level of affordable homes delivered in our lifetime,” he added.
James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, was similarly dubious. He said: "While Boris Johnson might not be a fan of recycling, his chancellor certainly is and so the 180,000 new homes pledged is certainly no step forward.
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"The only bone thrown to a nation of ravenous homebuyers starved of housing stock has been a scrap of properties built on brownfield sites."
The removal of dangerous cladding was also addressed, with £5m put forward to help remove it from high rise buildings, a process that will be funded in part by a tax levied on developers.
A further £65m was pledged by the Chancellor to digitise and improve the planning system in England.
An attempt to permanently reform stamp duty would have been a sure-fire hit for all concerned, and Sunak's failure to do so was described by Nick Leeming of Jackson Stops as "disappointing".
He added: "Taxation is one of the biggest barriers facing property buyers and further reform would encourage fluidity across the buying lifecycle."
I'm with Nick. While we knew the stamp duty holiday was over, we couldn't help hoping for a longer-term change to this hated tax. Here's hoping it will be back in the spotlight in the spring...