Stuart Miller, customer director at Newcastle Building Society, says: “The Budget contained lots of good news for the North East, including welcome announcements on the Teesside freeport, cultural funding for Hartlepool, the Treasury North Campus in Darlington, and new funding as part of the Towns Fund for Middlesbrough and Thornaby-On-Tees, all of which should provide a much-needed boost for jobs and the regional economy.

“The extension of the stamp duty tax concession will come as a big relief to house buyers in the North East who can now complete their property transaction before the end of June and still take advantage of the tax saving. The tapering of the charge combined with an average asking price in the North East of around £160,000 means many buyers in our region will avoid paying stamp duty altogether until the end of September 2021.

“However, over the past 12 months the average asking price for a home in the North East has risen by £8,000, so would-be buyers should be aware that savings in stamp duty may be reduced by rising prices.

“While we await further details on the new Government-backed mortgage guarantee scheme, this looks like a positive addition. Access to 95% lending will support first-time and other buyers with small deposits – especially those without access to the bank of mum and dad – by helping them take the first exciting steps towards home ownership. Nurturing these first- and second-time buyers is essential for a healthy housing market.”