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Will the General Election Affect the Housing Market?

May 03, 2017  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

property solicitor Thames Valley

If you’re planning on buying or selling a home this year, you may be wondering how the snap election in June will affect the property market, and whether you should hold off until the General Election. Well, we have good news and bad news for you…

The bad news is that, historically, housing transactions drop by 3-8% in the run up to an election, since people feel unwilling to make commitments until they know what the political future holds. However, since the period between Theresa May’s announcement and the snap election is very short, we shouldn’t see too drastic a drop. Instead of a three or four-month period of low transactions, this temporary dip will more than likely be concentrated into a single month.

The good news is that a decisive result will hopefully provide a greater sense of security when it comes to predicting future fluctuations in the housing market, likely resulting in a surge of activity after the election. Analysts also found that the number of property transactions is generally higher for approximately six months following a general election.

Obviously, any effects will depend on your circumstances, your timing, and how quickly you’re looking to buy or sell, but our property experts have put together some general tips and suggestions for you:

If your house is already on the market…

It makes sense to leave it available for viewings and offers as it’s unlikely any drastic changes will take place between now and the election. You may, however, find that the weeks leading up to the election are a little quieter than usual as people put their decision-making on hold. However, the fact that this is a snap election means that at least the period of uncertainty will be short.

If you’re about to put your house on the market…

By all means continue with any preparations such as tidying, adding a fresh coat of paint, getting your paperwork together, and making appointments with your solicitor and estate agent. In general, the fact that there is currently a shortage of property for sale in many areas should work in your favour (although it may also mean you have to lower your asking price). The lack of competition could result in a quick sale in the run up to the election as buyers hope to beat any price rises that follow. There’s also the chance that some buyers may prefer to wait until after the election results to make a decision on a new home, but there’s usually a boost in transactions in the summer, so at the very least it’s worth focusing on getting all the admin and paperwork sorted than wait another six weeks.

If you’re looking to buy…

There’s no reason to stop looking for your perfect property, and certainly no reason to stop getting yourself ready for a purchase by contacting your solicitor and sorting out any preparatory paperwork. You never know, you might find a bargain during the slow market preceding the election, and it’s unlikely that prices will drop dramatically afterwards, so there’s little point holding off until then. Take advantage of the ‘buyer’s market’, but be aware that since there are fewer homes on the market you may have to look further afield or adjust your expectations to find something suitable.

If you need more advice on buying or selling (or renting) property…

Look no further! Get in touch with our property team at Frances Lindsay & Co or click here for a free online conveyancing quote to get you started. Our property solicitors have over 50 years’ experience in both domestic and commercial property in the Thames Valley. Email us on info@franceslindsay.co.uk or call 01628 634667 for more information and to speak to a solicitor.

 

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