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What Happens to the UK Housing Market After a General Election?

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    How Will the General Election Impact Rental Figures?

    As the General Election inches closer, each party has published its manifesto and detailed its plans for parliament.

    The housing market was a major focus for many. With the Bank of England holding the mortgage base rate at 5.25%, the general consensus at the moment is that many people are struggling to get on the property ladder and are looking to the new government to either alleviate prices or reform the rental market.

    A new report by Compare My Move has outlined how previous elections have impacted the rental market and UK buy-to-let property investment.

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      UK Housing Market After General Election

      According to their data, rental figures tend to rise by an average of 1.96% 12 months after a general election.

      On average, rent prices rose 0.9% more under a Labour government than a Conservative government.

      However, historically, house prices rose the most after the 2015 General Election, seeing an average of 3.4% 12 months after the Conservatives (led by David Cameron) won a majority.

      Compare My Move found that house prices generally rise by an average of 2.4% when the election ends in a majority, compared to just 1.4% in a hung parliament.

      Overall, rents will rise by almost 2% in the year after a general election, and data indicates that figures have increased after every general election in the past 20 years (at varying degrees).

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      Notably, rental figures saw higher increases in elections before 2017 compared to the 2017 and 2019 elections.

      For example, whilst average rents rose by just 0.8% in the years following the 2017 and 2019 elections, a 2.7% increase was observed in the previous three elections.

      Concerning this election, Dave Sayce, Compare My Move founder and Managing Director, said: “Rents have seen a significant rise over the past few years, with an increase in the average rent price of almost 9% in the 12 months up to February 2024; therefore they go into the election at an all-time high.

      “However, many parties have focused on helping renters in their manifestos, and therefore, I don’t think the rise will continue at this rate and will become more gradual in the 12 months after the election.”

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      Should I Wait Until After the Election to Invest in Property?

      No matter which party wins on July 4th, the general election outcome will affect both landlords and tenants.

      Sayce adds: “It’s a good idea to wait until after the election before making any major decisions surrounding either renting as a tenant or a landlord. Although most parties have similar priorities when it comes to renting, such as abolishing section 21, ‘no-fault evictions’, the specifics of the policies for each party will be different.

      “Right now, Labour is winning in the opinion polls, but I suggest taking a look at every manifesto surrounding housing and making sure you are prepared for any scenario.”

      For an expansive look into the current UK property climate, take a look at some of our recent investment insights:

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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.