Insights / blog

June 21, 2024

How will the next general election impact the housing industry?

The UK general election is a key event which has the power to influence and affect various sectors, including the housing market. Previously, the housing market has seen a boost during previous election cycles, driven by increased confidence and activity. However, the upcoming election in 2024 presents a unique set of circumstances that could potentially result in different outcomes for the housing sector. This article explores the potential implications the general elections might have on the UK housing industry, particularly for housebuilders. 

Potential Policy Changes 

The outcome of the election will determine the policies and priorities of the next government regarding housing and construction. According to Morningstar’s UK Homebuilders: Q2 2024 Pulse, homebuilders are likely to benefit from recently announced election promises made by both sides of the political debate.

Different parties propose varying approaches to address issues such as housing supply, planning reforms, and support for first-time buyers. Labour has proposed plans to reintroduce national housebuilding targets to meet at least the next five years’ worth of local housing demand, implement a ‘Freedom to Buy’ scheme and pledged  to increase funding to increase planning officer headcount at local councils to get residential planning permissions flowing again. On the other hand, the Conservatives have promised not to increase stamp duty and resurrect the ‘Help to Buy’ housing support initiative if re-elected. These policies could directly impact housebuilders’ operations and the demand for new homes.

Impact on Market Confidence and Stability

Political stability and a clear majority government could boost market confidence, encouraging more investment and activity in the housing sector. Conversely, an uncertain or divided political landscape may lead to hesitation and cause the market to slowdown. Housebuilders rely on a stable and predictable environment to plan and execute large-scale construction projects. Prolonged uncertainty or frequent policy changes can disrupt their operations and make it challenging to secure financing and investment.

Planning and Regulatory Environment

The next government’s approach to planning reforms and regulations could significantly impact housebuilders’ ability to secure land and obtain necessary permits and approvals for new developments. Streamlining the planning process and reducing bureaucratic hurdles could accelerate the delivery of new homes, benefiting housebuilders. However, stricter regulations or restrictions on building on green belt land could pose challenges for the industry.

Addressing the Supply and Demand Issue

Policies aimed at boosting housing supply, such as incentives for first-time buyers or support for the build-to-rent sector, could increase demand for new homes and benefit housebuilders. However, if the next government fails to address the chronic shortage of housing supply effectively, it could limit growth opportunities for the industry and exacerbate affordability issues.

A word from our CEO, James Farrell:

As the UK prepares for its upcoming general election, the potential impact on the housing market is a hot topic. Despite the upcoming general election, the UK housing market shows resilience and stability in the face of political changes with homebuilders standing to benefit from increased investment in the space regardless of the election outcome.” 

“However the policies implemented by the political party in power will play a critical role in shaping the operating environment for housebuilders in the UK. Market confidence, planning reforms, housing supply initiatives, and support for buyers will all influence the industry’s prospects and performance in the coming years.”

The 2024 UK general election holds significant implications for the housing industry. Potential policy changes, market confidence, and the planning and regulatory environment are key factors that will shape the sector’s future. The pledges from both major competing parties suggest a host of opportunities. Ultimately, the industry’s growth hinges on the next government’s ability to implement effective housing policies.