GE2017: What’s the future of the housing crisis?
With a narrow Tory win on the cards and repeated U-turns over housing plans, some industry experts are concerned about how the UK will cope with a further five years of Conservative rule.
When Theresa May called for a snap election in April, it was widely viewed as a strategic act of capitalising upon the disarray within the Labour party, with the aim of ensuring that the Tory party maintained a sizable majority within the House of Commons for the foreseeable future.
Commanding a 20-point lead over opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, it would have taken nothing short of a catastrophe to see the 2017 general election come down to the wire. With one day to go before the public go to the polls, however, May’s future as Prime Minister looks anything but secure. The most recent YouGov poll, from 6 June, has shown that the Tory lead has been slashed to just six points.
So, does Labour stand a chance of winning come election day? Despite the recent surges, it appears unlikely.
Nevertheless, thanks to the Conservatives backtracking on several points of their own manifesto, and the introduction of a number of badly-received planned policies that place the working and middle classes at a disadvantage, the likelihood of May being ousted in favour of a more popular leader in the subsequent months is becoming more and more likely.
Despite the expected low turnout by those under 30, it is clear that the stance taken by Jeremy Corbyn relating to the needs of the poor within the UK has resonated strongly with younger voters. Issues such as internet privacy, healthcare, and human rights have, in recent weeks, come to the fore – but it appears that the topic of housing is the key to lure those who oppose further Tory austerity measures to the poll booths.
As a seller, why should I be worried?
For several years, the need for new housing has been an issue of contention for the UK’s growing population – and under Tory leadership, targets have failed to be met repeatedly. In their manifesto, the Conservative Party pledged to build more affordable, social housing for poorer families to get themselves on the property ladder. Within hours of its publication, however, the plans were being ridiculed for being ‘light’ on fiscal information, with the Labour party denouncing the proposals as “political spin with no substance”.
This later forced the Tories to perform a U-turn on the policy and admit that there will be no additional funds allocated for the building of new social housing and that the majority of new homes that would be built would most likely still be too expensive for those families who are less fortunate.
A failure to address the dire situation has led experts to believe that first-time buyers will be, again, at a disadvantage – and a slow-down in the housing industry is almost a foregone conclusion.
For those who are looking to sell their house fast, a stagnating property market is a death knell as the pool of available buyers will begin to shrink dramatically. And for an economy which is already facing a downturn in fortune thanks to the collective consumer insecurity over Brexit, the future is not looking rosy for those looking to buy, or sell.
Furthermore, in the seven years since the Tories gained power, the number of landlords has also risen dramatically, further limiting the supply of affordable homes to lower-earning individuals. And in a country where younger generations are becoming lifelong renters as opposed to homeowners, the likelihood of available buyers with the necessary reserves to purchase houses from the older population who wish to downsize is diminishing rapidly.
The Labour party themselves only just released their housing manifesto on 5 June, and while it appears to be well received, many believe its publication only three days before the election – after many postal votes have already been received – was too late.
With proposals such as cutting stamp duty on homes under £300k for two years and a plan for the biggest council house building programme in 30 years, it seems that Corbyn and his supporters are aiming to give potential buyers a greater amount of leeway if they were to gain power.
It is important to realise, however, that while a Tory win is almost certain, it would be fair to say that the more progressive members of the Conservative party will have taken note of Corbyn’s approach. And with sustained campaigning by their constituents, there is still a chance that if Theresa May is forced to stand down thanks to a vote of no-confidence by her own party, that a new leader with more popular left-leaning policies could be chosen in an effort to maintain dominance.
Need to sell your home fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.