The government has been accused of hampering first-time buyers' access to the property market.

According to the Federation of Master Builders, the Labour Party is procrastinating over issues such as getting mortgage lenders to provide more access to finance.

This, it stated, means that first-time buyers are unlikely to get on the housing ladder any time soon, which means any optimism among this group could be misplaced.

"The longer the government procrastinates, the less cause for optimism there is,"said Peter O'Connell, policy manager at the group.

However, this does mean that rental landlords could be able to benefit from the resulting demand for buy-to-let accommodation.

Mr O'Connell added that the price of existing housing stock needs to fall back into line with earnings in order to make it more affordable to new buyers.

This week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported a slight increase in the number of enquiries for property, although this did not translate into a surge in sales.

Written by Mark Garner

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