How is the General Election result expected affect the property market – in particular conveyancing?
We get the reaction from industry experts who have released their predictions on what’s to come.
Eddie Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, comments:
“The Conveyancing Association has welcomed the strong focus on housing issues throughout the election campaign and the recognition from all parties of the importance of this issue. Whilst the prospect of an uncertain result did seem to cause a slowdown in the housing market, the result today suggests that people will have more confidence to move home.
“The priority for the new Government must now be to continue to foster stability in the housing market, as the economy continues to recover. We welcomed the previous Government’s policies of promoting home ownership through schemes such as Help to Buy and the changes to the Stamp Duty system, which were positive reforms. We would now like to see the Government keep its pledges to substantially increase the supply of new homes too.
“While the economic situation continues to improve steadily, with falling prices and rising wages, it also remains critical that the Bank of England continues to take a cautious approach to interest rates. While we expect them to rise in this parliament, the CA would like to see gradual increases over a period of time thereby enabling people to adjust to the new landscape and manage their finances accordingly.”
Harpal Singh, Managing Director at Broker Conveyancing, comments:
“The last thing the current, rather delicate, housing market or the wider UK economy needed was any whiff of uncertainty or implementation of radical changes. Therefore the fact that the Conservatives…have won a small majority means that I believe, regardless of political persuasion, those businesses who are in anyway linked to the property sector should probably breathe at least a small sigh of relief….
“What we need now is to develop the UK housing market, in particular, increasing housing supply for both ownership and rental which should be the number one priority for this new Conservative Government. The time really has come to deliver in this area and let’s hope we see real progress over the course of the next five years.”
Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents comments:
“A majority government is good news for the housing market. With the Conservatives having secured a slender majority, we’re looking forward to seeing policies they’ve pledged such as their first time buyer (FTB) new-build commitment and their Help to Buy promises come through.
“During their election campaign, the Tories outlined a seven point plan, pledging amongst other policies, to tackle the growing supply and demand issue in the country for FTBs. The Help to Buy ISA, brought about during the Budget will now be pushed forward, meaning that for every £200 saved for a first house, the Government will top up with £50 more. Effectively a tax cut for FTBs, this, along with their pledge to build 200,000 quality starter homes with a 20% market rate discount for buyers under the age of 40, will help the housing market to level out and help FTBs get on the first rung of the ladder. Right to Buy for housing association tenants will also now be extended, giving an extra 1.3 million families the right to buy their home. Again, this will help supply and demand to level out.
“Our concerns with a majority Conservative government is whether they are going to be able to cash the cheque of promises they’ve made for home ownership within just five years. Supply and demand is a huge issue plaguing our country, and without tackling issues over planning, infrastructure and skills capacity, we worry that they will be unable to meet the growing demand of FTBs and fulfil their promises.”
Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments:
“The most positive aspect of a conclusive election result is that the uncertainty that has surrounded the economy – and the property market – can now be banished and the recovery can continue. A hung parliament may have prolonged this purgatory, so a majority vote means that buyers, sellers and the property industry as a whole can again plan for the future with confidence.
“The top-end market will be breathing a huge sigh of relief that £2m+ properties won’t be penalised by a mansion tax, a levy that would have stifled activity in the capital and across the South East. Any such tax could also have had implications on lower rungs of the property ladder too, so it is not just wealthier homeowners who should be counting their blessings. The post-election feel-good factor could kick in immediately and 2015 may prove to be a reversed version of 2014 in starting slowly and finishing strongly.”
Doug Crawford, CEO of myhomemove, comments:
“With the slowing down of the property market in the approach to the General Election, [the] stronger than expected results in favour of the Conservative Party could provide a big boost to the housing market.
“The decisiveness of the result should provide a sure footing of stability and predictability that will deliver more confidence to the housing market. This should help to push up the number of house sales from the decline that has been seen because of the uncertainty of the election.
“We can expect to see a new Conservative Government put its manifesto commitments to improving the housing market into its legislative programme for government.
Extending Help-to-Buy popular with property professionals and public alike
“Its plans to extend the Help-to-Buy equity loan scheme to 2020 is very popular with property professionals and consumers alike. 80% of property professionals attending our annual conference later this month said they support this policy when we polled them.* It is also popular with the public: 65% of Britons backed this plan in our recent YouGov survey. **
“Rising house prices and low wage growth have made it hard for first-time-buyers to get onto the property ladder, so they need all the help they can get. Extending the Help to Buy scheme, which has a proven track record of success, is a popular policy that delivers results.
Hard work of delivering policy commitments begins
“When the dust settles from the campaign, the hard work will start for the new Government on delivering its policy commitments.
“The new Conservative Government will find it easier to implement a Right-to-Buy scheme for housing association tenants than it will to deliver its Right-to-Build programme, according to our survey of property professionals.*
“43% said that a Right-to-Buy scheme for housing association tenants was achievable, with 27% not sure. There was much greater uncertainty over whether the party could implement the Right-to-Build policy outlined in its manifesto: only 26% thought this policy is achievable, with 41% not sure.
“What is clear from both the election campaign and our survey results is that widening access to homeownership for potential buyers and encouraging growth in the sector are vital to ensure a prosperous future for the UK housing market.”
Are you surprised by the election results? What are your property market predictions?
Please share your views in the comment section below.
* Survey of 159 estate agents, mortgage lenders, brokers and other property professionals attending the myhomemove annual conference on 20th May. Research carried out in April/May 2015.
** 2015 Homeowners Survey carried out by YouGov with a sample size of 2,184 adults. Survey commissioned by the Homeowners Alliance and myhomemove. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th – 9th March 2015.