Government’s New Year Resolution should be to provide stronger support for the property market, says estate agent

AN estate agent is calling on the Government to provide stronger support for the property market in 2011.

Mullucks Wells says that as house sales play such a pivotal role in the wider economy, much more should be done at national level to help people move home.

Mullucks Wells director William Wells said: “Each and every property move already brings a significant income to the Treasury – and this month’s increase in VAT will increase that still further.

“People moving house already pay that tax on all the services and fees they incur, as well as on the often-inevitable purchases of carpets, curtains, furniture or electrical goods.

“Whilst we understand the Government needs to raise more money, we believe that creating more activity in the housing market would bring greater financial gain.”

Mr Wells says that this assistance could include reducing the levels of stamp duty on every sale above �250,000, encouraging the banks to lend, and easing the plight of first time buyers.

“Stamp duty is a prohibitive tax which is strangling the property market in this area,” he added. “If their move is a luxury rather than a necessity, people are telling us that they’d rather improve their existing home than put �30,000 in the Stamp Duty pot.

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“What’s more, mortgage lending is at historically low levels - and the banks still need to be encouraged to do all they can to get the flow of money moving again.

“But the Government could also do more to help First Time Buyers, who are having to compete with professional property investors out there. We are fortunate to live in a highly desirable part of the country, with outstanding schools, communication links and countryside.

“Yet for those without sufficient funds for a deposit, trying to get a foothold on the property ladder has never been tougher.

“In short, there are enormous economic advantages to a healthy property market. Across the board local businesses, retailers and tradesmen as well as central Government all benefit.

“We want to see 2011 as the year the Government acknowledges the importance of the property market to the economy and resolves to give house buyers the chance to make their home dreams a reality.”