Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said in response to the Budget:

“RICS is pleased that the Chancellor has listened to our calls to make changes to stamp duty and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in order to support investment in house building.

“As an organisation we have been calling for these changes for several years and have worked closely with the Treasury and other industry bodies to help support this new approach to rented housing. The bulk purchase rule change is particularly welcome as it will mean that stamp duty is charged on an average price per unit rather than the total transaction cost.

“More people are now choosing to rent their home, particularly young professionals and those who are looking for flexible accommodation. Changes to REITs and stamp duty will help encourage large investors including pension funds into the sector providing a revolution in how rented homes are supplied. Changes to these systems will lead to more high quality properties which are a genuine alternative to owning a home.

“The most recent RICS lettings market survey showed that rents are continuing to rise as there are a lack of homes available for rent. Increased investment as a result of changes to stamp duty and REITs will help increase the range and affordability of rental properties.”