On the 18th April the Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election to take place on the 8th June and the Members of Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the election to go ahead. This could give some leverage for property and landlord groups to put pressure on the government to reconsider changes that have directly affected the property market such as the stamp duty and tax changes.
So where does this leave the UK property market?
Since the election announcement some local Estate Agents I have spoken to have seen continued interest and have seen a marked increase in instructions to sell post Easter, with no evidence as yet from buyers to suggest that any have abandoned their search because of the election announcement.
Historically the run-up to a general election has caused a slowdown in activity in the housing market as the process would usually take many months, but on this occasion with such a short timeframe any impact before the election is expected to be minimal. A recent poll from online estate agents eMoov found that just 18.4 per cent of sellers and 17.5 per cent of buyers said that they would wait and see what the result of the poll is before continuing with a sale or purchase.
After an election there is historically a boost in the number of transactions, as a result of renewed certainty and due to the shortened time span before the poll this is expected to take place sooner rather than later.
Property values would usually drop slightly before an election due to the period of uncertainty as sellers discount to stimulate a sale, but again, due to the short time frame from the announcement to the election this is unlikely to happen with the continued lack of housing supply also keeping the housing market on track. It is well reported that there is a shortage of new housing, so whoever is in power after the election will still have building more homes and supporting the UK property sector at the top of their agenda.
It is expected that the Conservatives will win and a stronger Tory majority would mean less opposition to the government’s Brexit negotiating plans, which would make the country’s future much more predictable and stable for investors. Instability can easily frighten investors or property buyers, however the prospect of five more years of Conservative rule will be seen by many as a real positive and many expect a boost in the UK property market.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice