A General Election is a tumultuous period, impacting all stables of society as the political tectonic plates shift across the UK’s geography, this time erupting across the social media landscape like never before. Perhaps the wider coverage across a greater variety of platforms contributed to the highest voter turnout since 1997, of 66.1%.
Televised debates were a feature of the 2010 General Election, but threatened not to feature the Prime Minister in the run up to the 2015 General Election, a point that was much debated itself. We debated the merits and limitations of our voting system. We debated how devolution might impact the political agendas across our nations. And perhaps the high engagement in the Scottish referendum in 2014 contributed to greater engagement in UK politics as a whole in 2015. Whilst the debate, the commentary, the analysis, and all the blogging, was to be expected in the run up to the General Election, one thing was not expected: the outcome. A Conservative majority was not forecast.
So, now that we are just over a month in to a rather unexpected government, what impact could this result have on the housing market?
Well as you might expect, there are relationships with numerous factors when you consider in what direction the housing market is moving, the political landscape being no exception. In a run-up to a General Election there is a greater sense of uncertainty, as party manifestos detail their plans and pledges on housing. Right to Buy, Help to Buy, Rent to Own and other buzz phrases contributed to serious discussion for those about to snake around on the property ladder. Over recent years we’ve learnt that there is a shortage of houses. All the main political parties pledged to build new houses to ease the stress on the housing market and control spiraling inflation of house prices. But the markets’ perceived stability of a Conservative government is arguably having the opposite effect, by helping to continue a trend of increasing house prices. Record low mortgage rates and competition in the mortgage market is making it more accessible for first-time buyers, in spite of rules introduced to help tighten up lending criteria. In essence, there’s been little impact on the housing market in the wake of the General Election. Demand will continue to outstrip supply and houses prices will steadily rise in the foreseeable future.