Measures unveiled in this week's Budget to boost the housing market will have little impact on current trends, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) says.
In its latest market report, the trade body says not enough was done by Alistair Darling to improve the situation of first time buyers (FTBs), arguing that a recent boom in FTBs coming to the market will not necessarily be improved by the measures.
Darling announced an extension of the stamp duty threshold of £175,000 until the end of the year, but the NAEA has called for the move to be scrapped or suspended and reviewed.
"This is a token gesture that will be presented as a benefit to first time buyers but is in reality irrelevant to two thirds of them," NAEA president Chris Brown says.
Brown points to NAEA fugures suggesting FTBs returned to the market "in droves" in January, making up 25% of sales. He says that figure has only dipped slightly since then and in March was 23%.
"These measures by the Chancellor will do little to consolidate that resurgence in interest," he adds. "If the number falls again next month then we will know that confidence is dropping in the wake of a botched Budget."
Meanwhile, the trade body says the number of people registering with estate agents shot up by more than 12% between February and March - from 240% in February to 268% in March.
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