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General Election result ‘should give confidence boost to housing market’

Estate agents said the Conservative victory should help to encourage sales activity.

The Conservatives’ General Election win could trigger a new burst of housing market activity as greater confidence flows back into the market, according to estate agents (Andrew Matthews/PA)
The Conservatives’ General Election win could trigger a new burst of housing market activity as greater confidence flows back into the market, according to estate agents (Andrew Matthews/PA)

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

The Conservatives’ General Election victory could trigger a new burst of housing market activity as confidence flows back into the market, according to estate agents.

Various reports have indicated that housing market activity has been on hold while potential buyers and sellers waited for the political situation to become clearer.

But some property professionals said they now expect to see those who have previously been holding back doing deals before Christmas.

The Tories aim to deliver a million more homes in the next five years.

The party has also promised to introduce “lifetime rental deposits” so down payments can be transferred from one property to the next.

It will also review new ways to support home ownership following the end of the Help to Buy scheme in 2023.

The most important thing for the housing market is that the result brings some stability, albeit short term, at least until we see a clearer timetable for Brexit. This should generate a return of confidence to the market, which is what we have been looking for Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “The most important thing for the housing market is that the result brings some stability, albeit short term, at least until we see a clearer timetable for Brexit.

“This should generate a return of confidence to the market, which is what we have been looking for.”

He said he now hoped to see more government moves which would go towards increasing the supply of homes, particularly affordable ones to buy and rent.

Mr Leaf continued: “What we really want to see is more supply and transactional activity.

“This is good for the housing market and for the wider economy as it improves social mobility.

“People have been holding back for some time and demand can only remain pent up for so long – people want to get on with their lives.”

Patrick Alvarado, director of Knightsbridge, London, estate agency Nicolas Van Patrick, said: “We expect buyers who are currently under offer and who might have been holding off in exchanging contracts prior to the election, now getting on with it and exchanging prior to Christmas.

“Foreign buyers who might have hoped for a further reduction in prices and the currency should we have woken up to a hung parliament or Jeremy Corbyn victory will realise this is no longer an option and those wishing to buy will also get on with it.”

Mark Manning, managing director of Leeds-based estate agency chain Manning Stainton, which has branches across Leeds, Wakefield and Wetherby, said: “Today’s result is great news for the housing market – we really needed a majority Government who could push Brexit through and end the uncertainty we’ve experienced for the past three years, and that’s what we’ve got.

“There’s so much pent-up buyer demand in the market, caused by potential sellers sitting on their hands and waiting for the result of the election and more clarity on Brexit before making a move.

“I think, now things are clearer, we’ll see lots of movement in the market as those people who’ve been thinking about selling put their homes up for sale.”

We expect the housing market to benefit in the year ahead as everyone from first-time buyers to seasoned investors who have otherwise been anxiously waiting to see where we stood as a nation can now get on with their lives Joshua Elash, MT Finance

Joshua Elash, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “We expect the housing market to benefit in the year ahead as everyone from first-time buyers to seasoned investors who have otherwise been anxiously waiting to see where we stood as a nation can now get on with their lives.

“We expect transactional volumes to increase significantly as certainty has been delivered.”

But Richard Donnell, research director at Zoopla, said the election result does little to change the underlying fundamentals of the housing market.

“The challenges for housing vary across the country and there are no simple, national solutions,” he said.

“Record low mortgage rates have boosted house prices, while affordability challenges remain across southern England.

“At the same time, housing has become less liquid, with the average home-owner moving once every 19 years.

“This is a result of long-run economic factors and demographic changes compounded by stamp duty, which is a major barrier to movement, especially in southern England.

“Housing policy needs to cater to the different challenges across the country and focus on barriers to movement and increasing choice across all tenures.”

PA

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