The General Election results are now in, with the UK set for another hung parliament, set to raise economic and political uncertainty already impacting on the sector still further.
Quite simply, the result represents the worst result for housing and construction sectors, when a period of stability is required. What’s more, Housing Minister Gavin Barwell also lost his seat!
We now wait and see whether one of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn can negotiate to form a parliament.
Unsurprisingly, housing industry peers have moved to express their concern around the result. There have been immediate calls for whoever forms to make the Parliament to make housing a priority.
Michelle Niziol, managing director of IMS, observed: ‘Any newly formed Government will need to work closely with organisations within the property industry and other sectors to deliver a successful housing strategy for the years to come.’
Niziol went on to urge more affordable housing to both buy and rent, alongside alterations to Stamp Duty. In addition, she believes measures to quicken the process of house building and delivery of infrastructure should be a priority for the incoming Government.
Russell Quirk, chief executive of online estate agents eMoov, feels that a post-election return to normality could be a long-way off.
Quirk said: ‘Political instability breeds procrastination on the part of home buyers and sellers and for over a year now we have seen the effects of that on volumes, if not so much prices, as a consequence of the European Union vote and then the snap general election.’
‘I suspect that the housing brief will take a back seat now, despite politicians’ promises in recent weeks, given the combined weight of negotiating Brexit, stabilising our economy, button holing political support on every vote and, inevitably, campaigning again for the next poll,’ he added.
Any coalition could provide less stability for the economy, bringing with it ramifications for real estate, says Adam Challis, head of residential research at JLL: ‘The short term impacts are uncertain and this could drag on housing market activity if clear political leadership does not emerge quickly. It is likely that we will see some ministerial shake-ups in the coming days and weeks. It will be crucial that the new champions of housing market policy in Government can reaffirm commitments to the current policy direction rather than to create further disruption or uncertainty.’
‘Importantly for housing supply, the policy direction as set out in the White Paper on building more homes across the range of tenures, will be upheld. Supporting new methods of delivery such as Build to Rent and off-site construction are also emerging and exciting sectors that will expand the pace of housing delivery,’ he added.