Mortgages  

UK government has failed to prioritise housing

Then in November 2015, during the Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne announced a 3 per cent stamp duty hike on buy-to-let properties, with effect from 1 April 2016.

Toni Smith, sales operation director at First Complete, part of LSL Financial Services, also called on Mr Hammond to cut stamp duty on housing transactions for first time buyers.

She said: "Life isn’t getting any easier for most first time buyers and the end of the Help to Buy, rising inflation pressuring wages and a falling pound (which may make UK property hotspots more attractive for overseas investors) aren’t going to improve things any further.

"The market would benefit from a stimulus at the lower end to give first time buyers a leg up onto the ladder. The simplest and most effective way to do that is by reviewing stamp duty for this population."

Mr Williams also commented on the onus of regulation on the mortgage market.

He added: "Increased regulation since the financial crisis has been a necessary step to keep the mortgage market on an even keel, but our findings would seem to suggest there is more work to be done on that front.

"We have come a long way in the 12 years since formal regulation was introduced but despite that the process of introducing more controls continues. It is time to draw this to a close and ask the question of whether regulation has become overbearing and is starting to stifle innovation.

"The upcoming Competition Review provides an appropriate opportunity for reflection.”