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Growing optimism for prime property markets under Labour

Middleton Advisors commissions ongoing research to investigate key trends and structural changes in prime UK housing markets. 

Our latest research considers the potential impact of the forthcoming general election.  Should buyers of prime property feel threatened by the prospect of Corbynite mansion taxes, wealth taxes and death duties or would a Labour government under Keir Starmer be altogether more benign? Our analysis of 50 years of housing data and current Labour policy gives cause for optimism. 

When adjusted for RPI inflation, real house prices have fallen by 7.5% since the coalition government took power in 2010 and by 6% since the last general election. This is an ill omen for the Conservatives; falling real house prices have been a feature in 2 out of 3 regime changes since 1976, whereas there has been no change in the governing political party during a period of rising real house prices since 1979.


Since 1976, there have been 10 prime ministers. Tony Blair enjoyed the highest real house price growth during his premiership, averaging 9% per annum compound. However,  four of the five regimes which presided over falling real house prices were Conservative. 

Prime Minister



Total real house price change over premiership

Annualised real house price change over premiership (% PAC)

Tony Blair





James Callaghan





Boris Johnson





Margaret Thatcher





David Cameron





Theresa May





John Major





Gordon Brown





Liz Truss





Rishi Sunak





Labour politicians are going out of their way to distance themselves from the former statements and policies of the Jeremy Corbyn regime by allaying fears of additional taxation, property charges and wealth taxes. Prime property owners will be less affected by a change in government than they might have been at the 2019 election. 

Labour policy under Jeremy Corbyn

Labour policy under Keir Starmer

Additional stamp duty for more expensive properties

Unlikely except for foreign buyers, trusts and companies

Second homes register

Welsh Labour policy, already under consideration by the Conservatives

Capital gains tax - ending exemption for main homes

Not specifically mentioned so far but highly unlikely

Second home levies

Specific levies ruled out, additional council tax already in some paces under the Conservatives

Mansion tax

Ruled out

Ending of ‘non-dom’ tax status

Specifically stated as policy. Some fears of decreasing demand for London property as a result but Conservative reform in this area already enacted had little impact

Inheritance tax – reduced exemption for expensive properties

Highly unlikely

Council tax reform

Possible – increased number of bands could be popular to make tax more progressive

Stamp duty reform

A radical move to shift tax from buyers to sellers would be in line with stated aim of increasing owner-occupation but is unlikely at this stage

There is no evidence since the 1970s that elections in themselves have changed the direction of house price movements in and of themselves. There is some anecdotal evidence of a transaction hiatus in the weeks immediately before an election as buyers adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach but this dissipates too quickly to show up in quarterly house price changes.

Our research suggests cause for optimism ahead of next year’s general election. The likelihood of an incoming Labour government no longer feels like a massive threat to prime property markets in London and the country. We are heartened by Labour’s recent policy announcements alongside the historical data showing the real house price growth delivered by two of the past three Labour governments. 

That said, the primary task for any incoming government – irrespective of colour – is to curb inflation and rekindle economic growth. With real house prices currently at 2003 levels, a return to the prospect of continuing real wage rises could make housing today look relatively cheap.

* Mark Parkinson is managing director of Middleton Advisors *

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    I simply don't trust Labour why would I ?

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    • A JR
    • 07 October 2023 17:45 PM

    I would’nt trust any of them regardless of flavour! They are all inept, populist grovelers.

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    Promises will come from both parties, none of which have any business sense! I wouldn’t employ a single one of them from either party, clueless! Always trying to solve problems that are not mass problems, then they screw everyone who do things right.

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    None of the parties are trustworthy. They line their pockets, not interested in serving the public benefits at all. They cannot see the wood from the trees. Simple solutions are totally convoluted They can start with abolishing useless Shelter and Generation Rant, who get funding but cannot help tenants, do not invest and build properties for the social tenants but rant, rant and rant. The councils need to be proactive in building social housing and also purchase properties available for sale from LL's and house owners. It is an investment, that will be paid for in the long run, as increasing social housing will always be needed and this should fall on the council, unless they are willing to pay markets rates for PRS properties. They need to wake up to the problem and be aware of what is actually going on. Licensing is not gong to help anyone. Labour will be a lot worse. This article wishes everyone to vote for labour. What for? We know why they are only for a short term and damage will be worse if they become government.


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