As millions woke up on Friday 13th December to the general election result, we take a look to see how the property industry reacted.
Guy Harrington, CEO of property lender Glenhawk: “Finally some light at the end of the Brexit tunnel. This result, coupled with finally leaving the EU in January, is the tonic the real estate market’s been waiting for. Expect improved liquidity, greater transaction volumes, a stronger pound and a bounce in the housing market, all of which will benefit lenders, investors and developers alike.”
Jamie Johnson, CEO of FJP Investment: “Many will be somewhat relieved with this result – a Conservative majority means we are a step closer to ensuring Brexit will be finalised in some shape or form come the end of January 2020. As expected, there have been some significant movements on the financial markets which is to be expected. Once an election result is announced, the markets will naturally take time to adjust to the news, before once again becoming stable.
Of all the possible outcomes to come from the election result, a Conservative majority provides the most clarity. Their position on Brexit is clear and now we wait for Boris Johnson’s EU Withdrawal Agreement to once again be voted on in parliament. Importantly, I hope the government uses this victory to start making progress on national issues that have been ignored, such as the property market.”
Nick Leeming, Chairman at Jackson-Stops, comments: “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 the 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.
It was therefore disappointing to see the party’s manifesto only focussed on increasing the amount of stamp duty payable for non-UK residents – done in an attempt to take the heat out of the property market. If we are to give the economy the much-needed boost it needs, what we actually need is to reduce the burden of stamp duty across the wider UK housing market.
Although we still have Brexit to contend with, housing must continue to be a key priority for the Conservatives. People are of course still moving. Buying and selling property doesn’t simply stop because the UK is leaving the EU or there has been an election – there are often overriding reasons for moving, whether to be closer to a good school, better childcare or the need to upsize or downsize.
Yet it is quite clear that if our Government wants to see a more fluid property market, which is moving at all levels, then it needs to provide far greater support to key demographics such as first-time buyers, young families and downsizers.”
Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions: “In many ways, the result shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Conservative Party’s main election pledge has been to ‘get Brexit done’, and the result suggests people are longing for the issue to be resolved come 31stJanuary 2020. What’s more, a majority government means we’re less likely to see a legislative deadlock in Westminster as has been the case since the last election.
For the property market, this is good news. Investors have been yearning for greater certainty and while national house prices have been steadily rising as a result of sustained demand, many have adopted a wait and see approach before committing to a real estate purchase. This result provides some much-needed clarity, and I’d expect to see an increase in property transactions over the coming months.
There are plenty of question marks hanging over the newly-elected government. When will the long overdue budget be delivered? Will there be changes to taxes like stamp duty? How will the housing crisis be addressed? I hope the Prime Minister addresses these questions and does not let Brexit continue to overshadow pressing national issues.
For now, at least, all eyes are turned to the end of January when Boris Johnson’s commitment to deliver Brexit will be put to the ultimate test.”
Jerald Solis, Business Development and Acquisitions Director of Experience Invest: “Despite winning a majority, the Conservative party should view this only as a minor victory. Whilst this was dubbed a ‘Brexit Election’, the public has made it clear that other pressing issues must be pushed to the forefront of the newly elected government’s agenda, such as the housing crisis.
Research from Experience Invest has shown that just 11% of consumers had faith in Boris Johnson’s previous government to solve the problem. So, the question now is how his new government will ensure the appropriate measures are put in place to ensure more people are able to jump onto the property ladder. From the promise to build 29,000 affordable homes, to simplified shared ownership and help to buy loans, the public will be expecting creative action.
One of the main public concerns will now be whether the government will meet the Brexit deadline of 31st January or seek another extension. After all, with over half (53%) of consumers Experience Invest surveyed agreeing that prolonging Brexit is counterproductive to solving the housing crisis, we cannot let Brexit overshadow pressing national issues that have been ignored for far too long.”