The resounding Conservative victory over Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the General Election has been warmly welcomed by the property industry this morning, with many predicting a post-election ‘super bounce’.
Economic and political uncertainty has stalked the housing market since the EU Referendum and both big data and agents on the ground have highlighted the need for greater certainty of the UK’s economic direction to persuade people to start moving home again.
Prior to the election, RICS described the property market as ‘subdued’ and ‘haunted’ by a lack of clarity over Brexit.
Here’s the reaction to the Conservative’s landslide victory early this morning, which we will be adding to as the comments roll in.
Bounce in confidence
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals
“Now that there has been a decisive win for the Conservatives and therefore a clear path forward has been established, I believe we will see a bounce in confidence and activity in the property market.
“Many buyers and sellers have put their lives on hold waiting for an outcome to the political controversy playing out in front of us. This has led to a severe lack of stock coming onto the market as sellers have held back. The result of the general election has finally provided the population with clarity regarding the Brexit hurdle and we will almost certainly leave the EU at the end of January, meaning we can move forward as a country and the market can settle into a new normal, which should see activity start to improve as buyers and sellers return to the market.”
Reassure the property market
Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops
“Over the last few years, both buyers and sellers have done well to adjust to the ongoing uncertainty facing our country, yet we hope that today’s result will finally provide some reassurance to the property market.
“Throughout the Conservative party’s campaign, they pledged their support for greater home ownership and so now is the time for them to form a Government that will deliver on this.
“In the lead up to Boris being elected Prime Minister, he spoke widely about stamp duty cuts for UK residents, yet this quickly fell by the wayside as he settled in to No.10.
“Our latest research found that 41% of consumers think there should be a wholesale reduction in stamp duty across all price brackets, while more than a quarter think Government should abolish stamp duty on all homes under £500,000. Just 3% felt no change was required, which highlights the need for change.”
Turbocharge the market
David Westgate, Group Chief Executive at agency chain Andrews Property Group
“The property market will be one of the main beneficiaries of Friday’s decisive General Election result.
“Such a conclusive victory for Boris Johnson has the potential to turbocharge the property market and get it out of its current rut.
“The certainty that comes with a five-year administration will create confidence and bring back the aspirational buyers and sellers that have been lacking since the EU Referendum result.
“For three years the property market has been gripped by political uncertainty and deadlock but now it can finally move on. There’s every chance we are now at the beginning of a market cycle that may not peak until 2027 or beyond, with growth of around 4% a year.
“Let’s not kid ourselves that the housing crisis will be miraculously solved overnight, because it won’t. We now need a Housing Minister with a properly costed and fully structured long-term plan that looks beyond building a certain number of homes each year.
“The structural issues in the property market will still be there when the euphoria of the Conservatives has faded.”
Sebastian Kalmar, Residential Director at estate agency KALMARs
“The result of the general election and the strong Conservative position should benefit the property market, as we now look towards greater clarity regarding the UK’s departure from the European Union and less uncertainty for buyers in the market.
“For many buyers, the question of Brexit has put their purchasing plans on hold, but we expect a renewed surge in people committing to homes across London in the New Year.”
Pent up demand
Guy Gittins, Managing Director, Chestertons
“If there’s one thing that slows the property market more than anything, its uncertainty and this morning, two big uncertainties have been removed: we will have a Conservative government for the next five years and we will be leaving the EU, with or without a deal.
“We expect that the considerable pent-up buyer demand which has been waiting for Brexit clarity will now be released. Sellers will in turn be encouraged by the increase in demand and are likely to start putting their properties on the market in greater numbers and the increase in sales could see prices bounce back quite quickly.
“We have already seen how quickly confidence can rebound with the pound surging to its highest level since June last year and the FTSE 250 hitting record highs, and buyers should consider acting sooner rather than later while prices are still at attractive levels compared the last market peak.”
Full in-tray of decisions
Richard Donnell, Research Director at Zoopla
“While voters ranked housing as the seventh most important issue for them as they went to the polls, the incoming Government faces an in-tray full of housing-related policy decisions.
“The election result changes little when it comes to the fundamentals of the housing market. The challenges for housing vary across the country and there are no simple, national solutions.”
Wait and see
Franz Doerr, CEO of alternative deposits platform flatfair
“We ‘ll have to wait to see whether the Tories will create lifetime deposits as suggested in their manifesto.
“While in practice this is a flawed idea as it does not provide a solution for the widespread issues faced between tenancies, we welcome the efforts of tackling the very real problem of hefty upfront rental costs.
“The need to gather a cash deposit is an enormous barrier to renting and this won’t be avoided simply through deposit passporting.
“The technology to make renting fairer for everyone is already available with platforms like flatfair which already allow tenants to rent without a deposit, whilst offering greater protection for landlords from any damages or rent arrears.”
Sense of certainty
Marc von Grundherr, Director of London lettings firm Benham and Reeves
“Forget political alignments for the minute, as we finally have a sense of certainty on which we can move forward as a nation, and while the curtain is far from falling on the rollercoaster that has been our European departure, we should see a fair degree of positive property market stimulation as we enter into next year.
“The sluggish one percent annual rates of house price growth that have plagued the market for the last few years should now give way to a far healthier three to four percent.”
Unhindered route to delivery
Michael Stone, CEO of newbuild specialist Stone Real Estate
“While the Government’s track record of late has been fairly admirable with some 241,000 new homes delivered this year, there’s always room for improvement, and now the election dust has settled we should hopefully see an unhindered route to delivery and a positive impact on social housing given that it is linked via S106 agreements.
“We’ve seen many big housebuilders operate on a more hands-off basis of late, largely due to a lower rate of house price growth and a fear of financial underperformance in tough market conditions.
“However, the new build sector has actually been the silver bullet against Brexit uncertainty with those opting to enter the fray rewarded with consistent levels of buyer demand and buoyant sold prices to match.
“With things only about to get better, the new build sector can expect a busy time over the coming year as pent up market apprehension surrounding our political landscape is relieved to a degree, and more homes are built, more homes are bought, and market sentiment receives a well-needed boost. ”
Fraser Slater, CEO of property finding agency Ludgrove Property
“Now that a Conservative majority has been confirmed two of the key factors that have depressed prime London property prices and transactions over the last few years; namely Britain’s withdrawal from the EU and political uncertainty have been removed.
“The third negative factor – Stamp Duty – remains a millstone but one that is not without hope. Although an increase in Stamp Duty for overseas buyers was muted in the Conservative manifesto, we are somewhat sanguine that Stamp Duty may be reduced for domestic buyers in the February Budget. After all the PM, Deputy PM and Chancellor have all been vocal about the need to slash Stamp Duty with Boris Johnson himself referring to the current level of Stamp Duty rates as ‘absurd’.”
Jason Risholver, CEO of developer the Heronslea Group
“We are delighted that The Conservatives have won, this is the best outcome for the UK property market. All the uncertainty surrounding the market and the lack of confidence in buyers will now quickly disappear as the two reasons why we are in a challenging market – Brexit and political uncertainty have gone. We now have a clear picture and direction for our country.”