The general election - how will each party impact on our housing market?

New research conducted by QualitySolicitors in partnership with the University of York, explored voters’ perceptions of the main five party leaders in relation to the housing market and included an analysis of the likely impact of each party’s policies on the housing market were they to be elected.

Leader perception

Although 35% of people don’t believe any party will positively impact the housing market in the South East, another one in three (33%) feel most confident in Conservative policy on housing. They are followed by Labour (18%) with UKIP third on 6%. 

David Cameron is seen as the ‘man of the first time buyer’ with 26% of people in the South East thinking the Conservatives will give people the best chance of getting on the property ladder, followed by Labour on 25%. The Liberal Democrats are third with 9%.

Housing Policies impact

David Cameron is viewed as the party leader who best understands voters housing concerns in the South East. Ed Miliband is second on 13% with Nick Clegg third on 9%. 

35% of people in the South East think that the stamp duty reforms have had a positive impact on their personal circumstances.

1 in 3 (33%) of voters in the South East think that mansion tax is fair and those who qualify could easily afford it. However 20% of voters think that people that qualify may have to downsize their home. 

Another 17% of voters expect April’s pension reforms to push up house prices. 41% of people don’t expect it to make any difference

The research also indicated that Ed Miliband is viewed as the ‘man of the first time buyer’, with 28% believing he would do the most to help people get on the ladder, followed by David Cameron on 27%. The Green Party’s housing policies score best amongst voters aged 25-34, whilst UKIP’s core housing vote is aged 35-44. 

Professor Smith from the University of York predicts: 
“It is clear that ‘buy-to-let’ is going to become an increasingly unattractive option in the medium term. All parties have woken up to the housing shortage across the country, so a cross-party consensus on the need to build hundreds of thousands of homes is going to increase supply in the market. This, coupled with increased landlord regulation and tax-breaks for higher earners, is likely to see an increase in Bank of Mum and Dad style arrangements at the expense of the buy-to-let market.” 

1.    The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ goes from strength to strength 
Ongoing pension reform and a reduction in inheritance tax is likely to see a continued rise in the number of parents helping their offspring get on the property ladder. We are also likely to see more complex models for property ownership as people become just as likely to buy and live with their friends, parents or even grandparents.

2.    The beginning of the end of ‘buy-to-let’
This increase in multi-home ownership in one family will also reduce the number of ‘buy-to-let- transactions in the market. In addition, Labour’s plan to reduce building restrictions and introduce greater regulation on private landlords is likely to make ‘buy-to-let’ investments a less attractive proposition.

3.    Boost to the English regions
Labour and the Liberal Democrats commitment to infrastructure projects like HS2 and plan to empower local authorities is likely to see affluence spread from London and the South East. An election that fails to deliver an outright Conservative majority is likely to see regional house prices boosted in the medium term. 

Laura Lewis our conveyancing expert comments 

"Our policy analysis shows that whatever the outcome of the General Election, the housing market will see major changes in the coming months. Whether it's the shift away from buy-to-let, increased parental involvement in first time property purchases or more market movement in the regions, what is clear is that the way people buy houses is becoming increasingly fragmented and complex. For the consumer all this market movement and rapid change can feel overwhelming. That’s why we offer free initial assessment to help our customers make sense of their situation – whether the UK wakes up red or blue on Friday 8th May. "

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