Pre-election jitters have impacted the housing market but not to the extent that pundits predicted. Despite uncertainty about the UK’s political future, especially since the start of this year, we’ve seen steady month-on-month increases in buyers, sellers, house prices, and with interest rates staying historically low, those who can get mortgages are finding them more affordable.
Whichever party wins on the 6th May will need to maintain momentum in the housing market. More needs to be done to meet building targets and make sure banks are lending to home buyers, especially first-time buyers. The recent decision on Stamp Duty for first-time homeowners was certainly welcome news, but to be really effective, the new government needs to accompany this with access to affordable, high loan-to-value mortgages.
Whichever party comes to power, I would predict a big upswing in activity across all areas of the housing market after the election. There is, understandably, an inclination from those wanting to move this year to wait, but I believe pent-up demand will come bubbling to the surface after the election result has been decided.
Rob Matthewson, Connells Area Partner