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Insight & Opinion

The General Election and Extended Uncertainty

Author: Gemma

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This week, parliament agreed to prime minister Boris Johnson’s general election demands. The election is due to be held on 12th December 2019, provided that the House of Lords pass the bill by the end of the week.

However, an election inevitably means a further delay to Brexit proceedings.

Indeed, delaying the UK’s departure from the EU will do nothing to lift the fog of uncertainty hanging over the property market. With a recent survey conducted by Experience Invest revealing that 55% of property investors are putting financial ventures on hold until the completion of Brexit, it can be inferred that property market activities will remain paused until after December’s election at the earliest.

In contrast political commentators are springing to life, offering predictions of the election result, whether the UK will face another referendum, or whether the EU will continue to grant further Brexit extensions for decades to come. Whilst this makes for interesting television and radio debate, this will do nothing to reassure the property investors and developers who have been clamouring for certainty for countless months.

Does this, then, mean that the property market will remain stagnant for the foreseeable future?

A glimmer of optimism

Despite turmoil in Westminster, the property market began the week on an optimistic note; the Nationwide House Price Index revealed a slight increase of 0.4% in property prices throughout October, bringing the average UK house price up to £215,368. Whilst this figure is by no means dramatic, it shows the property market has remained resilient.

Experience Invest has often vocalised its confidence in the UK property market. Whilst the UK has seen numerous month-on-month fluctuations across markets over the previous three years, this is natural in times of volatility. It is therefore vital that property investors and developers remind themselves of the bigger picture.

The year-on-year property price comparisons offer a far more optimistic outlook for the UK’s property market. For example, if we consider figures from the Office for National Statistics, the average house price in September 2009 was £165,314. A decade later, Halifax estimates this now stands at £232,574. Considering that throughout the previous ten years, the UK has recovered from a global recession, been through three general elections (soon to be four), four different prime ministers and the EU referendum, these figures are incredibly impressive. Surely, if the property market can remain resilient through such an eventful ten years, it will remain as such throughout Brexit.

A call to the government

Whilst the UK property market has demonstrated resilience, this does not mean it should be side-lined until after the general election, or indeed, after Brexit. There is still widespread demand for more housing, and developers are poised to begin projects to meet this demand. Whilst this week has offered a reason for property investors and developers to feel quietly confident about the state of the market, it will be interesting to see whether such optimism continues throughout the general election campaigning.

The Government must therefore ensure that the property market remains high on the political agenda; only then will investors and developers alike feel confident enough to recommence their market activities.

Continue to visit the Experience Invest website for the latest property investment news including house price changes, new tax regimes and to learn about the post-Brexit strategies of UK property investors.

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