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What Will The General Election Mean For The Property Market?

estate agents hackney london - Election in UK

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that a General Election will be held on Thursday 4th July 2024. Elections tend to have a ‘bounce’ effect on the economy and also on the property market. 

Estate agents in London will perhaps be welcoming the announcement, as the capital has lagged behind the rest of the country in terms of sales and house prices.

So what might be in store this time around? The impact could be significant, because the country is not only potentially looking at a change of government, but it is also happening against a backdrop of inflation falling from record levels, and probably also iminent cuts to the interest rate after 14 successive hikes. 

This will make mortgages more accessible for thousands of people, and it could potentially unlock a lot of pent-up demand in the property market. There are likely to be a flurry of attractive mortgage deals available to coincide with the summer, which is traditionally a busier time for the housing market. 

Regardless of the outcome of the general election, it should help to end the mood of uncertainty and pessimism that has swirled around the economy and the housing market for the past couple of years. 

Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, the membership body for estate and letting agents, commented that housing “must be a key theme that all political parties are placing front and centre of their general election campaigns” since it is the “cornerstone for every single community across the UK” and “the foundation to a strong economy”.

Emerson added: “Many successive governments have failed to keep pace with demand, and we would encourage potential policy makers from all sides to place a rejuvenated emphasis on tackling current issues and meeting future demand.”

“There must be a sustainable mix of housing solutions for both buyers and renters, as well as a commitment to ensuring the UK leads regarding innovation, quality, and environmental sustainability.”

“In addition, any new government must ensure there is comprehensive support in place for first-time buyers to prevent the prospect of home ownership being out of reach, but equally ensure the housing market remains balanced for all. 

“It is also important there is a full scale commitment to ensure wider infrastructure is also planned for, as we witness an ever growing population.”

One concern that remains is whether the much-anticipated Renters Reform Bill will be pushed through. This bill is intended to rebalance the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, and is widely considered to be an urgent necessity to help ease the current problems and flaws in the private rented sector.

There are fears that it may not have time to pass into law before parliament is dissolved, causing it to be significantly delayed or even to fall by the wayside.