Safe as Houses

OLIVER MILES gauges the effect that the Election result will have on the residential property market.
For several weeks leading up to the 2015 general election houses didn’t seem as safe as they might be. Across the country, house buying and selling activity stalled as people awaited the result. So the announcement that there would be a winner with a clear if perhaps only slender majority was met by those in the housing industry with a collective sigh of relief.
It wasn’t necessarily the political stripe of the party that won but the fact there was at least a clear result and the property market would not be left in limbo during weeks and possibly months of political horse-trading and in-fighting.
Also, there will be an acknowledgement that the threat of mansion tax has gone. This was a significant concern towards the upper end of the market. Another worry was the threat of rent control. This would potentially have affected the buy-to-let market dramatically.
So there is a mandate from the electorate. The city has responded favourably. The pound is up; shares in major house building firms are up and at least 37% of the population feel a little more confident about the immediate future – buoyed by a trend of improving trade, employment and cost of living figures. But let us all hope - no matter which party we supported – that the next government, besides dealing with a small majority, a large deficit, Europe, devolution, world hot spots and many other incredibly important issues, will at last get to grips with an effective and sustainable housing policy in the UK. It will not be before time.