UK housing policies laid bare with 10 weeks to election

With 10 weeks to go until the UK General Election, latest polls from YouGov show the Conservatives and Labour are tied for the lead.

YouGov’s poll indicates the Tories and Labour are both expected to win 33% of the vote on 7th May 2015. The Liberal Democrats are expected to win 8% while UKIP is in line for 15%. This means the UK is likely to see a coalition again with either the Lib Dems or UKIP becoming the king makers for either Labour or theTories.

Post-election, we can expect a few days, potentially weeks, to pass before any decision is made on which parties can work together. It will be up to Ed Miliband and David Cameron to wine and dine Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg in order to strike a deal for a new coalition government.

Housing policies

But how do they all shape up in terms of their commitments to the residential property sector? JLL Residential’s slides below summarise the key residential property policies.

What is unclear is whose policies would come to the fore in the event of a coalition, whatever form it may take. However, in essence they all agree on a need to increase housing supply with the ToriesLabour and Lib Dems hanging their hats on specific numbers.

The Lib Dem’s 300,000 new homes a year is the most ambitious, but does look a little unrealistic based on trend data. In the 70 years since the Second World War, that number has only been exceeded in 22 years, mostly throughout the 1960s and 1970s and not since 1977.

That was also largely due to huge public sector-funded building programmes that saw local authorities at their peak delivering 245,000. Perhaps the Lib Dems are planning a return to publicly funding housebuilding, however that seems unlikely.

The worst case scenario for the UK housing market, however, would be a hung parliament, with none of the parties winning an outright majority or able to agree a coalition. Under a hung parliament, we may see a lack of direction in addressing housing market issues. Many policies may be compromised as the parties squabble with each other, vetoing attempts to pass through any type of meaningful legislation.

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