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Housing market set for a soft landing in the Budget

  • 03/12/2002
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Last week's pre-budget report from Gordon Brown received muted support from economists. Jennet Vass,...

Last week’s pre-budget report from Gordon Brown received muted support from economists. Jennet Vass, CML senior economist, said: ‘For the housing and mortgage markets, the chancellor’s statement brought no bad news in the form of increased stamp duty rates. On balance, it reinforces our forecast that the housing market remains set for a soft landing. However, the risk of a bumpier ride continues to increase.’

There were no surprises for Lawrence Sanders, economist at Bristol & West. ‘The rise in public borrowing hits headlines but the numbers are in line with economists consensus. I am surprised at projections for economic growth, I think they are low at 1.6%. I would suggest 2% as a target.’ He added, ‘I expect fixed interest rates to move up, modestly, over the next few months. Now would be a good time to lock into them.’

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at Charcol, called the speech a ‘damp squib’. He said: ‘He seems to have increased the areas with no commercial stamp duty, but all he has done is confirm what the better economists have been telling us in the last months.’


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