Jeremy O’Connor, MD of Stockton-based Adore Properties, gives his reaction to Philip Hammond’s 2017 budget

“On the surface the Chancellor’s announcements on housing, left to the end after a budget peppered with puns, is promising. A £44bn capital investment in housing, consultations on longer tenancy leases, promises for 300,000 properties to be built each year by mid-2020 and, most welcome of all, an immediate scrapping of Stamp Duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000 or the first £300,000 on properties worth up to £500,000, are all steps in the right direction.

“However, as with all budgets, the proof will be in the actions that are taken moving forward. We have had commitments to housing levels before that have failed to live up to expectation, so it is a cautious optimism. The stat that the number of young people who own a home has fallen from 59% to 38% is worrying and reflective of what we have seen in the local housing market. We would also like to see a fair share of the promised Housing Infrastructure Fund and construction skills investment come to the region.

“The Chancellor has made big promises but now we need to see him deliver.”