Philip Hammond's big housing announcement was met with cheers in the House of Commons this afternoon – but the measure is already unravelling.
The chancellor announced he was abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £300,000, and it will be cut for that amount on properties up to £500,000. Anyone buying a home for more than that gets nothing.
This was part of a £44bn package designed to help the government tackle the housing crisis, something which Prime Minister Theresa May has said is a personal challenge.
During a post-Budget briefing with members of Hammond's team, however, it quickly became apparent that all was not quite what it seemed.
Firstly that £44bn package is not entirely new – in fact, just £15.3bn is "new money", and will be split over the next five years.
And when it comes to the stamp duty, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility warned it would increase house prices, by at least 0.3 per cent. "Thus the main gainers from the policy are the people who already own property, not the FTBs themselves," the report said. "For some potential FTBs with smaller deposits, who are constrained by loan-to-value lending criteria, the relief will enable them to borrow a multiple of their SDLT saving, allowing them to buy properties that they otherwise could not afford – but more expensively."