Property insiders mostly celebrated the Conservative election victory, but tenants’ groups complained of being ignored.
As David Cameron enters a second term as Prime Minister, it looks likely the housing market will pick up.
Countrywide’s chief executive Alison Platt said a flurry of activity is now likely.
“We now expect there to be greater activity in the housing market, especially in the £2m-plus markets facing the prospect of a Mansion Tax. We anticipate this Conservative government to turn its attention from implementing policies that stimulated demand in the housing market to addressing the lack of housing supply,” she said.
Jonathan Adams, director of prime central London estate agency Napier Watt, said a Conservative majority, albeit a slender one, is great news for London and the UK.
“Wealthy overseas investors had threatened to boycott the London market if Labour were elected but the outcome has signalled that the UK and London is open to continued foreign investment. It is a vote of confidence in the UK economy and its continued path to recovery,” he said, “Foreign nationals were particularly concerned about a mansion tax on top of recent tax changes, including an annual charge on property owned via a company and capital gains tax on its disposal. But now there is no chance of a mansion tax, no changes to non-dom status and no additional stamp duty costs. This is all excellent news, and will be hugely beneficial to the upper end of the property market in particular.”
However, not everyone believed the result is undiluted good news.
Adam Day of online estate agency Hatched said the result may make the market more buoyant and push up prices unreasonably. “Prices are already far too high for buyers across the UK. I also believe passionately that everyone should have the chance to own their own home and all the help being offered to first time buyers, fuelling demand and therefore prices, means the Conservatives have not got it all right,” he said.
Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house share site SpareRoom.co.uk, said the Tory majority was a worry for UK renters.
“The Conservatives’ pledges all but ignore the 11million people in rented accommodation – in particular their concerns around rising rents and letting agents’ fees – with a tunnel-vision focus on home ownership.
“Trying to get people on to the property ladder is the only box ticked. A supply shortage has led to unbelievable strain on the rental market over the past five years. The Tories need to act fast to ensure renters have access to affordable housing and are better protected from rent rises, particularly when interest rates rise and landlords see their mortgage repayments go up.”