General election could have little impact on housing market

Overall, the election is unlikely to have as big of an impact on the housing market as previous years have had, Zoopla says. This is because here isn’t much of a divide in policy between the two major parties as neither has many specifics on housing besides focusing on reforming the private rental sector as well as boosting housing supply.

However, the number of completed sales could fall slightly short of the 1.1 million that Zoopla expected for 2024. Landlords as well as businesses will want to know that political parties have “concrete plans” for boosting housing supply across all tenures. They also will want to see the right reforms to the private rental sector, ensuring that supply will be maintained and giving renters more protections.

In the run up to the summer and the slower period in the market, the election announcement is unlikely to stall the pace with which new sales are being agreed in the weeks to come. Buyers near to closing a deal on a house would prefer to push through and agree on a sale now while those in an earlier stage of the process may seek to delay any decisions until after the election is over.

The market has currently been recovering with more homes entering the market for sale and a greater volume of sales overall. This suggests an increase in confidence among sellers, though mortgage rates remain at 4.5-5%.

There are currently nearly 400,000 homes in the “sales pipeline” all working their way to completion in 2024. This is 3% higher than the same period last year and buyers in the process are unlikely to pull out. The incentive to move is still there for many of us, especially first-time buyers looking to get away from the rapid rise in rent prices and “upsizers” who delayed a move last year due to an increase in mortgage rates.

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