As the election result comes in, and following our previous feature on how the property market and in turn, furniture sales could be affected, we asked some of the key opinion formers their predictions of what we could expect from a new government.
By the time you read this, the polls will have closed and the votes will be counted, and we’ll know for sure who will be running the country for the next four years. Here, we gauged opinion from some key property market spokespeople on what we might expect from a new government – and it would seem that there is a definite lean towards the Conservative party.
John Elliott, managing director, Millwood Designer Homes
During the coalition period, the Conservative government were the main drivers of the effort towards getting new homes built; we have not seen that desire decline during their time in office. Typically, the UK housing market produces 7% of GDP, which is a very significant amount. What’s also important is the confidence factor, if the UK public at large do not feel good, then the economy starts to struggle. I think the mandate for Theresa May will strengthen their commitments and promote new homes policies quite significantly.
I definitely think there will be greater stability economically and renewed confidence for the housing market, if the Conservatives are elected again. The five year term and a workable majority for them will make a huge difference, which will be extremely beneficial to the stability of the country as a whole.
Now Brexit is fully on course and Article 50 has launched, I believe we will witness a positive effect on the housing market. Immediately after the Brexit referendum, former Chancellor George Osborne and BOE Governor, Mark Carney both told us we would see a reduction of 18% in our house prices. However, what’s actually happened since then, is the market has continued to grow and we’ve seen small price increases as opposed to price reductions.
I am sure we will see the Help To Buy Scheme extended for a few more years at least, because it has been so successful. Over 259,000 completions have taken place and more than one million people have used the scheme helping to boost demand for new homes and get many on the housing ladder, who otherwise could not afford to do so. The product is a brilliant piece of financial engineering, which will not only does its job superbly well, but is not a burden to the taxpayer, or to the UK as a whole.
Theresa May also seems to have a message for the whole of the population, including first time buyers. I believe there are a number of other ideas in the melting pot at the moment to assist first time buyers, which if all implemented, should start to make a difference over the next couple of years. I have no doubt that with a new and solid mandate for five years that the combined effects of the various schemes and a confident government will start to show results quite soon after the election.
Trevor Abrahmsohn, managing director, Glentree International:
A New Conservative Administration: If, as it seems likely, there is a return of a possibly emboldened Tory administration, then I’m not sure that much will change from the status quo should this be the case.
Interest/mortgage rates will be approximately the same and there doesn’t look to be, in the Manifesto, anything that would alter the equilibrium of the markets.
As we can see from press comments, the Property Market across the country is slowing down and, in the middle to upper sectors of the London Market, it is very sluggish indeed with values down by up to 25% from the highs of 2014.
Turnover in this latter sector is down by some 75% although the devaluation in Sterling since the Referendum, as a direct result of Brexit, has produced a number of international buyers to the Capital.
Unless the Chancellor does something about Stamp Duty in the autumn Budget, I am afraid the markets will be less akin to a ‘carnival cruise’ and closer to the ‘Mary Celeste’.
A New Labour Administration: If ‘Worsel Gummage’ (aka Jeremy Corbyn) were to be Prime Minister it would be one big muddle.
Their Manifesto policies have the eyesight clarity of Marty Feldman with the same comedic qualities. The Pound will ‘drop through the floor’ as investors flee to safer shores elsewhere.
Chaos and dyslexia will rule KO!
Mr. Corbyn will have difficulty filling his top posts and can you imagine Diane Abbott as Home Secretary, with her powers of arithmetic?
You can assume the worst and this will prepare you for the holocaust that will undoubtedly unfold.
”Their Manifesto policies have the eyesight clarity of Marty Feldman with the same comedic qualities”
Russell Midgley, director, Aspen Woolf comments
It seems that the Labour and Conservative parties are laying out plans to provide more social housing, help the homeless and enable renters to become owners of property. It’s about time they agreed on something. It’s now a case of which is the likely party to follow through?
Mr. Corbyn has laid out an encouraging manifesto to win, although most are scratching their heads as to how he’ll pay for it, some reports are suggesting there will be a £58bn shortfall, which isn’t small change so I do remain very sceptical he’s the man to deliver on these ambitious pledges. That said I do admire his perseverance and determination to win. He’s certainly looking to appeal to the masses, especially on housing and EU workers’ rights so he could swing some voters, although I do believe it’s too little too late for Labour.
I think they’ve had too many issues in their own party, which gives zero confidence they’re the party to steer us through the next four years, especially while Brexit negotiations are in full force now. We need a stable party who have proven resilient during tough times.
The housing issue in the UK has been and will continue to be the centre of discussion, we need more social housing and more homes available for the homeless. This isn’t an easy job for any government, but I’m pleased these parties have all pledged to repair this growing problem.
Henry Fordham, managing director, Bellis Homes
Whilst all the major parties have outlined some proposals regards housing, our desire, along with many other developers in and around London, is that one key item is addressed, Stamp Duty Land Tax. This has halted serious growth and stopped the higher end homes from moving, some may say that’s the plan.
The issues of the ‘rich getting richer scenario’ coupled with recent reports of an income boost to the Treasury from higher stamp duty, means our wish is looking bleak. With that being said, we will take a freeze on income tax and further investment into new homes.
What are your views? How do you think any new government will affect the furniture market? Get in touch with us and have your say by leaving a comment below.