July 4 General Election – Thoughts from the Industry

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has called a general election for July 4, 2024, citing now being the time for the people of Britain to choose the next government. Here are some thoughts from within the property industry.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert: “A look back at recent elections shows that house prices and activity usually hold steady in the lead up to the event, and we often then see a post-election bounce. It’s taking over seven months to move on average and we’re still seeing pent up demand from last year flowing through into 2024. This means that, for many, the desire to get on with moving is likely to outweigh waiting to see what new policies the Government could bring in. An election in the summer, when the market is traditionally slower, could have less impact on housing market activity than if one had been called for the Autumn. So, as we head towards this election, the housing market is likely to stay active, with activity ramping up once the election is over and things become clearer. It could mean that we’re gearing up for a stronger than usual August, especially if we see interest rates finally start to fall.”

 

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) said: “For construction, these next six weeks are a chance to hammer home to all parties how construction has been let down, where decisions have worked and continue to support our sector and where reform is desperately needed. In the next few days, our manifesto, ‘Support Construction to Support Growth’ will launch to help the parties understand those challenges.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight, added: “Housing and construction were not mentioned as one of the Prime Minister’s successes and unfortunately this is because housing and construction have been failed by this Government. If Britain is to grow sustainably, its next government needs to reform planning, understand the commercial impacts of its decision and most importantly, talk to those they will rely on to implement their promises.”

 

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark comments:

“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.

“There must be a sustainable mix of housing solutions for both buyers and renters, as well as a commitment to ensuring the UK leads regarding, innovation, quality, and environmental sustainability. In addition, any new government must ensure there is comprehensive support in place for first time buyers to prevent the prospect of home ownership being out of reach, but equally ensure the housing market remains balanced for all. It is also important there is a full scale commitment to ensure wider infrastructure is also planned for, as we witness an ever growing population.”

 

Giles Mackay, founder at property data company Outra:

“An election is an opportunity for housing policy to become practical, logical, and fair. The next election should be a housing election.

“Generations of brits are hammered by issues of affordability, unable to gain a footing on the housing ladder. There is a real opportunity here for policymakers to prioritise the delivery of homes, building them in the areas where they are genuinely needed. Supply shouldn’t be a ‘tickbox’ or number to be met, it should be thought through and data-led.

“This is an issue too important for electoral gimmickry, both sides need to tune in.”

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