Just a few weeks into 2015 and with the UK General Election on the horizon, the electioneering is in full swing.
For the next 15 weeks JLL UK Residential colleagues, clients and journalists will be asking about the impacts related to each of the likely outcomes. Let’s call this note a pre-emptive strike.
Tory or Labour?
To start, we’re only realistically talking about a Conservative or Labour-led government, so the permutations can be cut down from there. However the UK has had to wake up to the reality of not just two or three party politics, but there are now five parties that will have a genuine shot at forming part of the next government.
A Conservative-led Government will largely enjoy a continuity of programmes and policies, in contrast with the market disruption that would come with Labour-led reforms. These would take time to be mooted, consulted upon and (possibly) implemented; market activity tends to pare back in times of uncertainty.
In terms of the minority players, neither the SNP nor UKIP are likely to make housing policy a bargaining chip, save for abolition of the ‘bedroom tax’ programme north of the border – with good riddance. The Liberal Democrats could very well see housing policy as a plank to renew the party’s dwindling support; addressing leader Nick Clegg’s recent comments to provide ‘heart’ and ‘backbone’ to a new Government.
So, for UK housing market practitioners, the below might be something of a ready-reckoner for Government headwind or tailwind over the five years post 7th of May 2015. I am not kidding myself however; without doubt there will be plenty more UK housing market policy issues to unpick over the next four months and beyond.