Reassurance for the UK property market

Our chairman, Nick Leeming, provides his insight on today’s Conservative Party landslide in the General Election

Over the last few years, both buyers and sellers have done well to adjust to the ongoing uncertainty facing our country, yet we hope that today’s result will finally provide some reassurance to the property market. Throughout the Conservative party’s campaign they pledged their support for greater home ownership and so now is the time for them to form a Government that will deliver on this.

In the lead up to Boris being elected Prime Minister, he spoke widely about stamp duty cuts for UK residents, yet this quickly fell by the wayside as he settled in to No.10. Our latest research found that 41% of consumers think there should be a wholesale reduction in stamp duty across all price brackets, while more than a quarter think Government should abolish stamp duty on all homes under £500,000. Just 3% felt no change was required, which highlights the need for change.

It was therefore disappointing to see the party’s manifesto only focussed on increasing the amount of stamp duty payable for non-UK residents – done in an attempt to take the heat out of the property market. If we are to give the economy the much-needed boost it needs, what we actually need is to reduce the burden of stamp duty across the wider UK housing market.

Although we still have Brexit to contend with, housing must continue to be a key priority for the Conservatives. People are of course still moving. Buying and selling property doesn’t simply stop because the UK is leaving the EU or there has been an election – there are often overriding reasons for moving, whether to be closer to a good school, better childcare or the need to upsize or downsize. Yet it is quite clear that if our Government wants to see a more fluid property market, which is moving at all levels, then it needs to provide far greater support to key demographics such as first-time buyers, young families and downsizers.