Housing is becoming the most discussed sector. We are aware of the need for more housing but The Chancellor is apparently keen to direct wealth away from speculative residential property investment and into other sectors of the economy (still further!) thereby enabling greater choice for first time buyers looking for their first home. Interestingly the statistic being banded around is that since 2005, 195,000 new and second hand homes have been sold to investors to rent out…and only 165,000 have been built! This is clearly a government push away from ‘Generation Rent’ to ‘Generation Own’. An additional tax levied on landlords on capital gain or on rental income for these second homes might be the vehicle used but surely this is warfare on landlords and a step too far? As has been countered, the largest encumbrance for first time buyers is the deposit required on their first purchase…tens of thousands of pounds and so again, the most obvious assistance would be to offer a stamp duty holiday or cut for these home buyers. We have lobbied our MP on this but also a stamp duty concession for downsizers as that sector isn’t moving either. We understand that by doing this for downsizers alone, 27% more transactions would be released up and down the market and accordingly significant monies, including stamp duty in the middle, into The Exchequer.