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How Will the General Election Affect the UK Housing Market?

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    2024 General Election: The Implications for Buy-to-Let Investment

    Last week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election for Thursday 4th July.

    The prime minister had previously suggested that an election would be held in the second half of the year, leading to much speculation surrounding the timing of this recent announcement.

    But how will this affect buy-to-let investment in 2024?

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      How will the Election Affect UK House Prices?

      New research by the NRLA and Goodlord indicates that letting agents and landlords are clear targets for many parties in 2024.

      A jointly organised poll from just before the Prime Minister’s announcement reveals that just 39% of letting agents have made up their minds about who to vote for, while 19% say they are ‘open to changing their minds’ and 26% are ‘undecided’.

      Landlords were also polled, and their voting intentions were more fluid. Although 45% have made up their minds, 27% said they were open to switching allegiance, and 19% were undecided.

      Of course, following the announcement, the property industry has had a mixed reaction to how the election is likely to affect the UK housing market and house prices.

      Tim Bannister, Property Expert at Rightmove, believes that a summer election will have little effect on the market.

      He said: “An election in the summer when the market is traditionally slower, could have less impact on housing market activity than if one had been called for the Autumn. So, as we head towards this election, the housing market is likely to stay active, with activity ramping up once the election is over and things become clearer. It could mean that we’re gearing up for a stronger-than-usual August, especially if we see interest rates finally start to fall.

      “A look back at recent elections shows that house prices and activity usually hold steady in the lead-up to the event, and we often then see a post-election bounce. It’s taking over seven months to move on average, and we’re still seeing pent-up demand from last year flowing through into 2024.”

      Dominic Agace, Chief Executive of Winkworth, suggests that pre-election uncertainty usually has a short-term impact, causing sales to decrease in the months leading up to polling day.

      According to their research, the biggest house price growth observed in the UK housing market came when Tony Blair was in power.

      He said: “We saw a rise of £48 a day on the average property price, which is contrary to popular belief that the Thatcher era saw the biggest growth due to Right to Buy.

      “With positive news in the offing and a New Labour version of the Labour party being proposed, we don’t expect significant disruption. Interest rates cuts are expected, and growth upgrades for the UK paint a picture of an improving property market this year after an already positive start.”

      Further Reading: Discover the best place to buy-to-let in the UK and the best investment strategies with our 2024 market insights!

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      UK Property Market is One of the Biggest Focus Points

      The UK housing market is likely to be one of the biggest focal points for the major political parties.

      Boosting the housing supply is a priority for both Labour and the Conservatives, so this is expected to become a hotly debated subject as we approach the general election.

      Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, said: “Housing is the cornerstone for every single community across the UK.

      “It’s the foundation of a strong economy and must be a key theme that all political parties are placing front and centre of their general election campaigns.”

      Learn more about the wider UK property market with some of our recent buy-to-let area guides:

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      Reece Pape

      Reece Pape is a property writer at RWinvest. Utilising up-to-date property statistics and data, Reece aims to keep investors informed on the latest market developments.