Chancellor Alistair Darling "missed an opportunity"to give the property market a boost during yesterday's Budget speech, according to the chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Peter Bolton King suggested that more could have been done to increase the amount of people who qualify for the stamp duty holiday.

Mr Darling announced an extension of the current property tax holiday for all properties costing up to £175,000 - it will run until December 31st 2009 - but the NAEA representative wanted "a much wider part of the price bracket"to be able to benefit from the scheme.

The UK is "going to have to wait and see"whether the initiates will help the property sector, Mr Bolton King said.

"All we can say is, 'It needs to be carefully monitored, and more may need to be done',"he remarked.

Written by John Weeks
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