HUGH Bayley and Chancellor Gordon Brown should get real.

Out of 83 homes listed in last Thursday's Property Press priced at £120,000 or under, 30 were one bedroom apartments, 13 were two-bedroom apartments and two were three-bedroom apartments.

Houses were made up as follows: four one bedroom terraced houses, 18 two-bedroom terraced houses, five three-bedroom terraced houses, four two-bedroom semi-detached houses, four three-bedroom semi-detached houses, one one-bedroom semi-detached cottage, one two-bedroom semi-detached bungalow, one three-bedroom semi-detached bungalow.

Quite a number of these were out in country locations and many were ex-council houses.

It would be interesting to know just how well prospective first-time buyers and down-sizing pensioners manage to compete with buy-to-let investors.

If the stamp duty threshold was to be raised to a more realistic figure of, say, £175,000, this vote-catching ploy may achieve its aim with a few voters.

As it is - who do they think they are fooling?

Mrs Mary Morton,

Acomb Road, York.

Updated: 09:26 Thursday, March 24, 2005