A webinar poll undertaken by Countrywide Surveying Services (CSS), one of the leading suppliers of property risk management services, valuations and customer surveys in the UK has revealed that over a third of property professionals would like to see the reintroduction of Help to Buy or some government-led initiative announced in the upcoming Budget to help boost the new build sector and first-time buyer marketplace.

Breaking down the responses to the question – ‘What do you most want to see from the Chancellor in March’s Budget?’, 35% of respondents replied with Help to Buy or something to support new build and first-time buyers. 22% sought a stamp duty holiday/reduction, 17% opted for an inheritance tax cut, 16% chose stamp duty changes for downsizers and 10% elected for additional landlord support.

When evaluating the 2024 UK property market, 41% responded that there was cause for optimism, with the same proportion saying that there is ‘possibly’ cause for optimism. 13% stated that they were ‘unsure’ about the marketplace with 5% saying that there was ‘probably not’ any cause for optimism. However, on a brighter note, not one property professional in the audience suggested a definite ‘no’ cause for optimism for the UK property market in the next 12 months.

LIS Show – MPU

The third and final poll in the webinar focused on the General Election, the potential impact of a Labour victory and, if this were to happen, what the party’s housing-related priority might be.

Topping the responses for this question was the increased supply of social housing with 43% of the votes. This was followed by improved planning processes in local government to increase housing supply (13%), with making it viable for more FTBs to own their first home and increased tenant protection in terms of no-fault evictions both generating 11% of the responses. The options of preventing tenants living in sub-standard accommodation and making more empty properties available to live in both received 10% of the responses, with the removal of section 21 coming in at 2%.

These responses emerged at Countrywide Surveying Services’ regular webinar series which focused on what the future holds for the residential property market & surveying.

Over 300 people actively engaged with the session, with the audience consisting of lenders, brokers, surveyors, and other property professionals. The panel included Graham Sellar, head of business development and key account team at Santander UK, Rob Stevens, head of property risk at Nationwide Building Society, Timothy Bannister, director of property science innovation at Rightmove plc and Kate Faulkner OBE, chair of the Home Buying & Selling Group.

The event was hosted by Martyn Stones, Director of Technical Services at Countrywide Surveying Services, who commented:

It’s clear from these results that the industry is looking for the Government to generate some additional assistance when it comes to opening the doors for more first-time buyers and in helping to bridge the gaping supply gap which continues to widen, especially from an affordability perspective. And I’m sure this applies to whichever party happens to be in power.

“The upcoming budget has the potential to have a major influence on the housing and mortgage markets and it will be interesting to see what, if any, of the highlighted measures come into effect and their short, medium or longer-term impact.”

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