Commenting on the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Autumn Statement Richard Donnell, Research Director at residential property market analysis company Hometrack, said:
On stamp duty
"Stamp duty is a perennial topic for both the Autumn Statement and Budget.
"It is an inefficient tax and acts as a barrier to market liquidity which is bad for labour mobility, but the flipside is that it makes a significant contribution to the Exchequer. Calls for change are beginning to manifest into reality, which suggests that the Government feels that stamp duty is starting to have a detrimental impact on labour mobility and the ability of households to access the housing market. The slab structure of stamp duty does create distortions at the price breaks and these have been around for years. Moving towards a more progressive tax structure will help those looking to get on the ladder and will end up costing those with higher value homes more."
On housing supply
"All political parties agree that we need to grow new housing supply and that localised solutions are a key part of the way forward. Data from the NHBC shows that housing starts in the last 12 months to date have only exceeded the 2000 to 2007 average in London. All other regions are seeing below average levels of new build due to weakness in housing demand, which is making house builders cautious about what they build and at what volume.
"The private sector house builders have tended to deliver around three quarters of all homes built each year. To boost supply, we need widen the pool of organisations focused on enabling the development of housing. There needs to be greater civic leadership on delivery to attract new investment into housing. The public sector needs to focus on how it uses its assets – land and planning – to leverage investment into housing. This along with a greater diversity of tenures will open up new demand from the likes of institutions and housing associations. Greater devolution of power to the large UK cities will also support the growth agenda."