Bjorn Howard, group CEO of Aster Group, said:

“The news that stamp duty will end for first-time buyers of shared ownership homes under £500,000 is a further sign the government is taking a more pragmatic view of housing. It’s a move that will rebalance policies to support choices outside of traditional ownership and private rent.

“Shared ownership already helps a huge cross section of society get access to housing and, if they want to, build up the amount they own over time. It’s positive to see the government give it the same tax relief that has been offered to first-time buyers using traditional mortgages. The housing option is something that Aster has been championing for years. Our recent research has shown that other things need to be addressed including the marketing of shared ownership. We’re keen to see a similar effort by the government to push shared ownership in the same way as Help to Buy and we’ll look to be heavily involved in the new discussion paper on proposals for Private Shared Ownership as a result.

“While this wasn’t the most housing-focussed budget, providers and housebuilders will be encouraged that there were no nasty surprises and no deviation from what we view as a more sensible approach to housing policy, as evidenced by the measures announced in the last few months. The government’s attitude will help ensure housing associations play a larger role in building more of Britain’s homes.”