Following one of the most unpredictable General Election campaigns in living memory, which resulted in one of the most surprising and confusing results imaginable for everyone involved (including the electorate), one could be forgiven for feeling some trepidation about the ramifications of recent events on the economy, and in particular the always-flighty property market. With Brexit already confusing and worrying the markets, its even more uncertain status since Friday 9th is almost certain to cause alarm. But is the outlook really so frightening?
According to some experts, yes it is. Nick Leeming of Jackson-Stops & Staff warns that the swift formation of a new government is vital to restore some stability (and possibly even ‘strength’, for want of a better word) to the markets, which abhor uncertainty in all its forms. All parties having made housing a priority issue in their manifestos, there can be little doubt that something must be done to consolidate the sector.
The loss of seat by housing minister Gavin Barwell inevitably means a new appointment, and the appointee must, according to JLL's head of residential research, Adam Challis, must try to avoid creating further uncertainty and knuckle down on housing policy's existing direction. The housing crisis, he says, is something which “requires cross-party support to de-politicise solutions and to provide longer-term backing for new solutions”.
All is not necessarily doom and gloom, though, according to Seven Capital sales director Andy Foote, who maintains that the continued imbalance of supply and demand in the UK property market will mean growth markets will remain resilient, and investors can look forward to ongoing capital growth.
And David Westgate, group chief executive at Andrews Property Group, argues that the very uncertainty of a hung parliament could ironically boost the outlook for property in the UK, as it will force politicians from all sides to work together, noting that while none of the parties committed to a review in stamp duty during their campaigns, now would be an ideal time for them to look into it together.
So it seems that in the market, as in Westminster, the only thing we can be sure is that we can't be sure of anything.
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