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The shock election result: The mortgage and housing commentators at-a-glance

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  • 09/06/2017
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The shock election result: The mortgage and housing commentators at-a-glance
Tory Housing Minister Gavin Barwell lost his seat in Croydon Central early this morning to Labour candidate Sarah Jones, but achieved more than many of his predecessors in his 11 month tenure.

Barwell produced a Housing White Paper and a practical vision for the housing market so leaves with his dignity intact, which is more than can be said for Grant Shapps’ stint, (or his alter ego Michael Green depending on the weather).

Sterling has fallen more than 2% since markets opened this morning in more bad news for UK travellers abroad so as Theresa May gains support from the Democratic Unionist Party in a bid to form a government later today, what is next for the UK and the housing market is anyone’s guess.

Here is a roundup of industry views:

John Phillips, group operations director at mortgage broker and estate agency Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart: “On reflection, I think the housing market has proved to be pretty resilient, all things considered.

“Some buyers and sellers have recently adopted the wait and see approach and it is likely that the market will quieten down again next week while things start to settle down. However, as things start to unravel, I am hopeful that the market will soon get back to the norm.”

The construction sector trade body is in a more sombre mood.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The construction sector is particularly vulnerable to dips in consumer confidence brought about by political uncertainty and therefore it’s crucial that this uncertainty is minimised.”

Berry continued: “In the longer term, there could be a potential silver lining for the business community as the prospect of a hard Brexit now seems less likely.

“This could be a positive for business leaders who are concerned about a broad range of issues – for the construction sector, our greatest concern is that the flow of migrant workers might be reduced too quickly and before we are able to put in place a framework for training sufficient UK workers to replace them.”

Small business owners in the UK are traditionally among the Tory faithful, but Theresa May’s campaign did little to reassure this sector.

Chief executive of the Private Business Forum Ian Cass said he felt the voice of small business had been completely ignored during the election campaign by both parties despite their economic contribution and role in job creation.

“Businesses are tired of being paid lip service to. We have over five million business leaders in this country. Young and old, North and South, Remain and Leave, who have their feet firmly on the ground and need, once and for all, to be taken notice of, as the negotiations with Europe are progressed.”

And finally, Richard Pike, sales and marketing director at Phoebus Software flagged the fact ‘nothing is certain in politics’ and that the time frame for the Brexit talks looks shaky.

“What we needed was certainty through a majority, what we are left with is further uncertainty through a hung parliament. Unfortunately until a new government has bedded in, many areas that we as an industry wanted to see action on such as housing policy, may well take a back seat.”

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