A General Election in June – What Could it Mean for the Property Market?
By Ellen Bowers | 20th April 2017
Online estate agency Tepilo responds to the shock announcement of a general election in June, with comment from property expert Sarah Beeny.
This week Prime Minister Theresa May made the surprise move of calling for an early general election on June 8.
The vote was approved almost unanimously by MPs in the House of Commons, giving politicians just seven weeks to campaign.
The snap general election will mark the third year in a row that the British public have been required to turn out to the polls, following last year's EU referendum and the previous general election in May 2016.
After Theresa May's announcement, our thoughts immediately turned to the impact the upcoming vote could have on the property market over the next few months.
With this in mind, here's a round-up of what some of the experts had to say...
The thoughts of Tepilo’s Sarah Beeny:
“[The] announcement about the general election has come as an enormous surprise, so we may see some slight signs of uncertainty in the market between now and June 8.”
“However, it means that whoever wins will start with a clean slate, which will be a good thing for the housing market. The UK needs a strong, united government to get us a good Brexit deal and help our financial and property markets flourish, and hopefully this election will put an end to the constant battles currently happening in Westminster, so whichever party is voted in can get on and do the job in hand.”
What do other property experts think?
Mark Hayward and David Cox, the heads of estate and letting agency trade bodies NAEA and ARLA Propertymark issued a joint statement.
Urging politicians to put housing at the forefront of their manifestos, they said: “The country is rapidly moving towards crisis point, where a chronic shortage of housing has become unsustainable. Rather than trying to look at individual issues, it’s time to take an holistic view of housing policy.”
Meanwhile, David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Associations shared a similar message, claiming that the election ‘needs to put housing first’.
“Over recent years, the private rental market has been hit by tax hikes, benefit cuts and growing regulations all of which are making it more difficult for tenants to access and afford a place to live.”
“The same changes have made it harder for good landlords to provide the quality accommodation that tenants have a right to expect and have discouraged further investment in new homes.
Smith said that we need a housing market that ‘works for all’ and that the political parties need to recognise this and ‘deliver for tenants and landlords alike’.
Britain's exit from the European Union is the key political event over the next few years and the sooner a favourable deal can be thrashed out, the better as uncertainty and instability are likely to have an effect on the property market and in particular the economy.
Despite high profile elections in each of the past two summers, the housing market has remained resilient which is testament to the population's desire to move home and not be put off by uncertainty.
That said, another election is likely to affect some movers' purchasing decisions, but as we're in such a prime period of market activity, people selling their homes needn't feel too concerned.
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