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Election: Property industry heaves a sigh of relief

Date online: 08/05/2015

It's been a day hasn't it? As the country watches the last few votes scuttle in you can hear the property industry relax in unison. Here's what the

Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of CENTURY 21 UK had this to say:

“From our perspective, with the forecast currently being for a slim Conservative Party majority, we are pleased there is a level of continuity between the last Government and the next, which we think is crucial for the markets we operate in. In terms of the lettings agency side of our business, we feel the result is a bullet dodged given the onerous regulation we could have expected from a Government led by the Labour Party. We fundamentally believe these measures would have failed to deliver the consumer benefits suggested and therefore it is a welcome move that the lettings sector looks highly unlikely to now be saddled with such measures. Overall, the result appears to be a positive outcome for both the financial services and agency marketplaces in which we operate, and there is a significant level of confidence about the growth and development we can achieve within this new political environment.”

Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented: “Those at the top end of the UK property market will be breathing a sigh of relief having avoided a hefty, Labour lead, Mansion Tax.

I don’t think there will be huge implications at the other end of the market. The Conservatives introduced the new Help to Buy ISA to encourage first time buyer votes and plan to extend it. I can’t see them making a U turn on their Stamp Duty Tax amendments either so the lower end of the market should benefit to some extent.

Research by eMoov.co.uk has found that under their tenure, a Conservative government is twice as successful in seeing an increase in house prices, certainly a plus where homeowners are concerned.

However a recent poll of MPs and the general public found that many believe that Britain is currently experiencing a housing crisis. There is a rather strong argument that the current government’s policies on the property construction, or lack of it, has contributed to this current crisis.

One hopes that the election bribes orchestrated by the Conservatives will actually be promises that are kept. Based upon the rhetoric from previous campaigns versus the elected reality, I doubt that the pledges will be matched by the outcome regardless of who has now formed the government.

If they are to really help the housing market they need to deliver on the regenerating of brownfield land to facilitate the construction of the 400,000 new homes. Under the last government there was a woefully inadequate shortfall of around 70-80,000 homes a year and this can’t continue”

Charlie Ellingworth, from independent buying agents Property Vision said: “This election result is an unambiguously positive result for the housing market. The spectre of a mansion tax has haunted the market for the first half of this year and now that threat has gone turnover will certainly pick up. One has to hope that will not cause further crazy upward spirals in prices.

If the Conservatives have any sense they will spike the Labour guns for the future by reforming the Council Tax bands. It is also to be hoped that they will somehow manage to kick the insane Right to Buy election pledge into the long grass where it deserves to stay.”

Harpal Singh, Managing Director at Broker Conveyancing, said: “The last thing the current, rather delicate, housing market or the wider UK economy needed was any whiff of uncertainty or implementation of radical changes. Therefore the fact that the Conservatives appear to have won a small majority means that I believe, regardless of political persuasion, those businesses who are in anyway linked to the property sector should probably breathe at least a small sigh of relief this morning. What we need now is to develop the UK housing market, in particular, increasing housing supply for both ownership and rental which should be the number one priority for this new Conservative Government. The time really has come to deliver in this area and let’s hope we see real progress over the course of the next five years.”

Bob Young, Chief Executive Officer of Fleet Mortgages, on the General Election: “There are clearly a number of positives for the housing and mortgage market from this Conservative Party victory, not least the fact that the Tories tend to be far less interventionist than the Labour Party which means they are unlikely to meddle in the housing market, particularly the private rental sector. We are all acutely aware of the overwhelming need to build more houses in the UK however the problem may be a lack of materials and manpower – many thousands of construction workers exited the industry back in 2008 and haven’t been replaced. Therefore the promises of more housing supply, especially those made by the Labour Party during the campaign, were simply not achievable.

The capital markets will be positive about the result because of the stability provided and this is likely to hold firm at least until we’re faced with the EU referendum. Perhaps more importantly though, I think the fact a Government majority has been achieved will provide a real boost of confidence to the UK populous – which admittedly is hard to measure but critical to a nation’s success – and that will be very good overall for our country.”

Andrew Ellinas, Director of Central and North West London agency Sandfords said: "Thank goodness that is all over.  Uncertainty, which has surrounded the property market for the most part since January, will now be lifted. Confidence will return quickly and it is likely we will experience a significant late spring bounce in activity, as those who have held back start to act.

It has felt like the market was becalmed and now will steam ahead once again, with London prices that have been subdued steadily rising throughout the second half of the year.
 
My advice to those who have been thinking about selling, but awaiting political certainty, is to make a move now and beat the rush.  The market has been challenged most recently by a lack of stock, but this is likely to change quite swiftly now, creating more competition for vendors. Take advantage whilst conditions are most favourable.”

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