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Budget announcement missed opportunity for housing market.

The Chancellor’s failure to overhaul stamp duty in the Budget was a missed opportunity to reinvigorate the property market, according to the UK’s organisation which conducts property  and land searches for the industry.

Andrew Prismall, chairman of the Association of Independent Search Agents (IPSA), said: “We would prefer stamp duty to be scrapped completely, because it is a barrier to an efficient property market.

“In the face of a looming property crash though, even a cut in stamp duty would have sent a message that the Chancellor wanted to support the market. Failing to do this is a huge missed opportunity.”

IPSA represents a network of 70 search agents around the country who work together to deliver accurate, fast and cost-effective local searches to solicitors and conveyancers.

The Chancellor’s speech did reference the Government’s 2021 Spending Review commitment to investing in safe and affordable housing by confirming a settlement of nearly £24 billion.

And Jeremy Hunt MP also said that there would be further support to address stalled housing delivery because of high levels of nutrient pollution, particularly across 74 local planning authorities which were blocking delivery of 300,000 homes.

The statement said: “The government has already provided significant support for protected sites that are affected, both to address the pollution at source and to support housing developers to deliver their environmental obligations.

“In recognition of the scale of the impact, the Spring Budget announces further support to ensure ‘nutrient neutrality’ obligations can be efficiently delivered, thereby reducing the risks facing developers building homes in affected areas. DLUHC will shortly launch a call for evidence from Local Planning Authorities, backed by a commitment to provide funding for high quality, locally-led nutrient mitigation schemes.”

Andrew added: “The delays in the current planning system are not helped by not being able to get larger scale developments up and running.

“Although we welcome any moves to address stalled development of housing, the fact remains that this is fiddling around the edges rather than a long-term solution to challenges across the UK”.

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Andrew Prismall, chairman of the Association of Independent Search Agents (IPSA)

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