VALUATION

  The ELECTION – good, bad or indifferent?

Whilst the market currently ticks along in London, many people are sitting on the fence until after the May election after which we expect buyer enquiries to pick up as, regardless of the final result we would hope there should be a little more certainty for the foreseeable future. 

 

From a lettings perspective, governments over the past 30 or so years have reduced the protection offered to tenants which has resulted in more homes to rent and obviously helped stoke the buy to let market.  However if Labour were to gain control in May they have confirmed they are keen to see a reintroduction of rent controls with longer tenancy agreements which may result in the more casual landlord selling up.

 

From a sale perspective all we really want is certainty.  Again the main area of concern, tax wise, is whether, after the recent changes in stamp duty, a new government could tinker further and add in a mansion tax as well.  There is no getting away from the fact that a home is always going to be an investment as well and uncertainty can destroy belief in the market.  Ten years ago 59% of 25 to 34 year-olds owned their own home in England - now it's down to 36%. Of course these people are now renting from private landlords.  The biggest issue facing a new government is simple in that for many years we have not been building enough new homes. We apparently need about 245,000 new homes a year to keep pace with demand and we are running at about half that level.  As the most likely result of the election is another hung parliament with at least two parties having to `do a deal’ it may well mean a further period of no one party being prepared to grab the bull by the horns.