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We must remain calm as housing policy takes a back seat

by: John Phillips, group operations director at Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart
  • 16/06/2017
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We must remain calm as housing policy takes a back seat
Elections usually encourage a slight slowdown in the property market and this year is no different.

However, if you consider what the economy has faced in the past 18 months, it’s fair to say the property market has remained remarkably resilient, even despite political turmoil and higher Stamp Duty bills.

It was recently reported that the industry has seen a drop in the amount of people wanting to put their property on the market, although there hasn’t been a dramatic drop in those wanting to buy. Therefore, due to this continued imbalance between demand and supply, it is likely that house prices will continue to rise gradually this year.

 

Another housing minister departs

With Gavin Barwell gone, this means Alok Sharma, who was appointed to the role as part of the new government, is the 15th person to hold the post of housing minister since 2000. In addition, the result of the election throws into doubt the government’s plans to implement its long-awaited Housing White Paper.

This is a concern for the industry as it included plans to speed up housebuilding, cutting red tape on planning and pledging more support for SME housebuilders.

 

Back seat for housing policy

Although tackling the issue of supply and affordability is a key priority, until the new government has bedded in and as the new housing minister gets to grips with the property agenda, it’s possible that housing policy will take a bit of a backseat in the short term. Especially given the combined weight of negotiating Brexit and stabilising our economy.

Brexit and the election result highlights how nothing is certain in politics, but the great British public has once again spoken so we must keep calm and carry on. Stability is absolutely crucial in enabling people to make big decisions such as buying and selling a property.

However, as things start to unravel and as demand continues to outstrip supply in a low interest rate environment, I’m confident that political certainty will be restored and the post-election market will return to normality, albeit at a slower rate.

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