General Election ’24

Back in 1951 the Conservatives stood on a house building platform and saw the return of Winston Churchill who over-turned a Labour majority that had been elected just 20 months before.

To be fair they (the Conservatives) had been on about building more in the 1950 Election but it hadn’t been enough at the time. From 1951 the Tories became The Party of Home Ownership, something they hung on to until now, it seems.

Next year Labour have already shown that they intend to steal the Conservatives crown. For many it isn’t really a crime, the current Government effectively handed over the opportunity with no mention of housing in Sunaks conference speech in Manchester. Kier Starmer has stated that he intends to build 1.5m new homes in the first Parliament which is or rather was the old Conservative aspiration of 300,000 just to add insult to injury.

Will Labour deliver? Can they find the builders, sort out planning, muzzle the NiMbYs and build a mix of social housing alongside homes for private rent? Can they fix the cladding issues, tear up the leasehold laws and modernise the house buying and selling process? Just some of this would be more than the Conservatives have achieved but delivering none of it must be a possibility given both parties record.

What might an Election mean for the housing market? Inactivity, for sure. Buyers and sellers tend to sit on their hands and wait for the outcome of Elections so 2024 may be a thin year of transactions but prices may not dip if Labour win despite what their critics will say. Others think that the race is closer than we might think and all the parties will build.

At the moment the next Election looks like Labour’s to loose. The polls seem to have made up their minds. Sort of a miracle I expect enough of the British people have too. Whether the outcome will make any difference remains to be seen.