Will the general election have any effect on the UK property market? - 24/05/2024

A question we get a lot here at Elavace is how UK politics can affect a landlord’s income. Concerns about compliance and regulations often arise when a government appears to be losing control of the wider economy or electorate. The two main parties have similar housing policies, focusing on reforming the private rental sector and increasing housing supply. With neither party presenting major changes or disruptions, the number of completed sales may fall slightly short of the 1.1 million anticipated for 2024. Businesses and landlords are particularly keen to see detailed plans from political parties to boost housing supply and enact the right reforms in the private rented sector. This would ensure that supply is maintained while offering renters more protections.

As we approach summer and the traditionally slower period for the housing market, the election announcement is likely to slow the pace of new sales agreements in the coming weeks. Most buyers who are close to completing a house purchase will want to push through and finalise their sales now. In contrast, those earlier in the process may decide to delay decisions until after the election in the autumn, waiting for a clearer political and economic landscape before proceeding.

The housing market is showing signs of recovery, with more homes coming onto the market for sale and an overall increase in sales volume. This reflects growing confidence among sellers, even though mortgage rates remain at 5%. We don’t expect buyers already in the process to pull out, indicating sustained activity and interest despite the upcoming election.

The incentive to move remains strong for many households. First-time buyers, in particular, are motivated to escape the rapid growth in rent costs, while upsizers who delayed moving last year due to increased mortgage rates are now re-entering the market. This combination of factors continues to drive activity and ensures that the housing market remains buoyant even in the face of potential political changes.