What does the election result mean for the property market?

by Gary Whittaker

On Thursday (June 8th) Brits headed to the polling stations across the country to vote for who they wanted to lead the country in a surprising snap election called just weeks ago by a confident Theresa May. 
 
However, as unexpected as the election announcement was, it had nothing on the outcome of the vote, with the Conservatives losing their majority thanks to large Labour gains across the country, in spite of their increased share of the Scottish vote. The whole thing has left a lot up in the air, and it could be a while until the dust settles. But what does it all mean for property ' We take a look. 
 
Uncertainty
 
If there's one thing we can be sure about in the housing market, it's that uncertainty, especially politically, and the sector do not go well together. For years, any period of uncertainty has meant a shaky period for the country's housing market. We only have to look at the first five months of this year, where prices fell consistently thanks to Brexit uncertainty. 
 
And now, with a hung parliament the outcome of the snap election, there will be a pause as those behind the big parties negotiate and attempt to thrash out a deal. Until such times as we know what is going to be happening at Westminster, the likelihood is that the housing market will take a pause as well. People tend to develop something of a wait-and-see attitude at times like these, and with everything so unexpectedly up in the air, this is likely to be truer than ever before.
 
Housing minister
 
It's going to be another period of reshuffling for the housing market in terms of its main player in parliament. In recent months, Gavin Barwell has been pushing forward the new housing whitepaper, which promises to build hundreds of thousands of new homes, as well as backing the PRS in terms of new builds. 

However, on Thursday, the housing minister was one of the shock losers in the Conservative party, when his bid to be re-elected in Croydon Central fell short. Mr Barwell lost his seat as MP to Labour's Sarah Jones in one of the big upsets of the night, and now, even if Theresa May does manage to form a new government, there will be a period of uncertainty while the party looks to find a replacement for a housing minister who was only starting to find his feet in his position. 
 
Prime minister
 
Of course, Mr Barwell might not be the only high-profile Conservative bowing out of the cabinet after Thursday's result. Theresa May called the snap election when she seemed certain to win a strong majority for the party. However, after what some are calling the biggest mistake in British political history, her position at Number 10 is being questioned, and many, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, are calling for her to step down. 
 
This could potentially even throw the Brexit negotiations up in the air, and as the search for a new prime minister potentially gets under way, there will no doubt be a period of concern where no one really knows what the incoming leader would see as their priority in terms of negotiating, and, of course, the housing market. 
 
Overall, the election has been a difficult one for the property market to swallow this morning. Whatever the outcome, the property sector goes hand in hand with stability and certainty. So an outcome that couldn't be further from this makes for a nervy time. And while it's likely that property comes out the other side strong, it could be some months until we see any sort of large scale growth. 
 
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09-June-17General Lettings News