Expert View: What next for the property market?

Alastair Woodgate, Rumball Sedgwick

Alastair Woodgate, Rumball Sedgwick - Credit: Archant

Alastair Woodgate, Director of leading local chartered surveyors, Rumball Sedgwick, considers how the property market might respond to the General Election result.

The housing market thrives on confidence. In the last couple of days property experts have been saying that the surprise General Election result will introduce more short term uncertainty to the property market.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the snap general election ‘chilled’ the housing market, with the number of house sales falling in May for the second month running. Many of the survey respondents blamed the election for the slower market, with buyers and sellers waiting to see the result before proceeding.

Any period of political uncertainty tends to halt activity, so as we enter what is usually peak summer activity, are property transactions likely to stall?

Some property experts think buyers might hold off making a purchasing decision until the political landscape is clearer. But, with historically low mortgage rates around, lenders remain confident, saying that property transactions already underway are unlikely to be affected by the election results. Combine this with a lack of supply of homes for sale together with high employment rates and it is likely that in this area property values will remain propped up – a common theme in recent times.

Whilst the London market has witnessed a slowing down, could a weakened pound and perceived softer view on Brexit lead to more foreign investment in London, pushing prices back up?

My view at the moment is that in this area it’s unlikely that the political uncertainty following the general election result will have any major impact on prices in the near future. Motivated buyers and sellers will still make their move.

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In the run up to the election all political parties referred to the struggle faced by first-time buyers and young families moving up the housing ladder. There was a lot of talk, in election manifestos, about housing measures to increase housing delivery: potential political weakness in the short term could slow progress in this area. Will a hung parliament mean they can’t deliver, causing more issues for those struggling to get on the property ladder? A clear strategy is essential to tackle housing shortfalls.

First-time buyers will still hunt for homes. The young had a louder voice in this election than in many previous elections so politicians should not lose sight of their needs. More help for first time buyers must remain a priority however fragile the government may be.

For property advice contact Alastair on 01727 519140 or at