REACTION: ‘Turkeys voting for Xmas’ as Sunak picks 4th July for General Election

New poll of both agents and landlords reveals a majority of the three million people involved in the sector have yet to pick a side.

rishi sunak

Letting agents and landlords are a clear target for the UK’s political parties, new research reveals as Rishi Sunak announces a 4th July General Election.

The poll organised jointly by the NRLA and Goodlord before the Prime Minister’s announcements, reveals that just 39% of letting agents have made up their mind who to vote for, while 19% say they are ‘open to changing their minds’ and 26% are ‘undecided’.

And the number of people involved is considerable – some three million people in the UK are involved in letting or managing property either as agents, property managers or landlords.

Landlords were also polled and their voting intentions are more fluid. Although 45% have made up their mind, 27% said they were open to switching allegiance and 19% were undecided.

A quarter of letting agents said they would vote based on industry issues, including voting for a party that promised to reinstate mortgage interest tax relief for landlords or roll back the Tory’s plans to abolish Section 21 evictions.

Economic factors

general election

But while these more technical policy areas worry both groups, it is the wider economy that concerned letting agents most, with 51% saying the cost-of-living crisis was their top priority, with 43% looking for a party that offered economic competence.

Sunak is reported to have chosen July 4th after this week’s latest economic data showed slowing inflation.

general election
William Reeve, Goodlord

“With an election just around the corner, it’s interesting to see how many property professionals are still ‘up for grabs’ politically,” says William Reeve, CEO at Goodlord.

“And while neither landlords nor estate agents have the most favourable media image, there are approximately three million of them in the UK.

“It’s a constituency no politician should ignore. This report shows that, in addition to the critical issues of the day around the economy, cost of living and NHS, property professionals are paying keen attention to the party positions on the Private Rental Sector.”

The July 4th announcement will be bad news for supporters of the Government’s flagship Renters (Reform) Bill, which is now very unlikely to become law before parliament closes down ahead of the election camapaign.

Nathan Emerson

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, says: “Housing is the cornerstone for every single community across the UK.

“It’s the foundation to a strong economy, and must be a key theme that all political parties are placing front and centre of their general election campaigns.

“Many successive governments have failed to keep pace with demand, and we would encourage potential policy makers from all sides to place a rejuvenated emphasis on tackling current issues and meeting future demand.”

Dominic Agace, Winkworth
Dominic Agace

Dominic Agace, chief executive of Winkworth, has welcomed the announcement of a July 4th General Election.

He says: “With positive news in the offing and a New Labour version of the Labour party being proposed, we don’t expect significant disruption.

“Interest rate cuts are expected and growth upgrades for the UK paint a picture for an improving property market this year after an already positive start.”

Link to 2021 Predictions feature
Richard Donnell

Richard Donnell, Executive Director at Zoopla says: The announcement of the General Election today for the 4th of July is earlier than may have been expected. Elections normally lead to some stalling in market activity.

“This General Election period will run over the early summer period when market activity tends to tail off.”

Claire Fallows

Planning lawyer Claire Fallows of Charles Russell Speechlys, says: “New settlements must be part of the solution to resolve the UK’s housing crisis, so it’s positive to see this incorporated into Labour’s “new towns” plan.

“However, that cannot be the whole solution. New settlements take significant time and resource to bring into effect, with a complex planning and delivery process. Even in areas where new towns are created, we are likely to need shorter- and medium-term schemes to fill the gap until these new towns are created.

“Funding is also a crucial part of this. Finding solutions to address the upfront costs of assembling sites and delivering substantial infrastructure packages required to release new developments will be key to any plan that aims to drive housebuilding targets.”

It still feels somewhat like turkeys voting for Christmas

John Phillips, Spicerhaart
John Phillips

John Phillips, CEO of Spicerhaart and Just Mortgages, says: “While the Prime Minister and his government are clearly using the positive news on inflation as their moment to move, it still feels somewhat like turkeys voting for Christmas – especially if polling figures and general sentiment is anything to go by.

“Nevertheless, now we finally have a date, it will be interesting to see how the main parties ramp up their campaigns – and how housing and mortgages will fit into their plans.

“This is especially true for Labour and Kier Starmer who set out their ‘first six steps’, which did not include a plan for housing. Both play a critical role in the wider economy and remain carefully balanced amid improving consumer confidence.”

One Comment

  1. Pick a side? We are run by unelected civil servants fronted by a Uni-party. Democracy is an illusion.
    Does anyone seriously think the Consocialists will be any different to Starmer? Two cheeks of the same backside.

    We need change. Vote for it.

What's your opinion?

Back to top button