In the run up to the most uncertain general elections in decades, many professionals in the mortgage market hoped for a pickup in activity. Property sales had slumped and prices had declined around 0.3 per cent between January and February, according to Halifax, the sixth consecutive month of slowing house price growth.
It was likely the usual pre-election slowdown, however, there were also other factors at play. The potential for regulatory intervention was high if the outcome saw a victory for the Labour party, which was a significant concern for investors. However, as the chances of a Labour government evaporated in the face of the unexpected exit polls figures, the mortgage market was galvanised with optimism.
The effect was most seen in the London property market, where house prices on homes put up for sale soared by 17 per cent three weeks after the general election.
According to research from GetAgent.co.uk, an estate agent comparison website, a surge in newly listed London properties was noted across all price points. Data that was corroborated by the UK`s four most popular property search websites: Prime Location, Rightmove, OnTheMarket and Zoopla.
Colby Short, co-founder of GetAgent said: `The stability of a majority government has clearly helped consumer confidence and the effect of this on the property market is borne out by these asking price increases.`
High-value homes were also given a major boost as the threat of a mansion tax from a Labour government was lifted. Demand for multi-million pound homes waned ahead of the general election, but a surge of listings was noted following the Conservative victory.
GetAgent data showed that the number of homes newly listed for sale at £2 million or more jumped to 639 by the 21st of May, a 160 per cent increase from the 246 homes that were listed in the week of April 9th.
However, a few issues remain a concern for investors in the property market. High housing continues to depress the market. Ahead of the election, the Conservatives said that local councils will determine annual housebuilding targets, but that 275,000 new affordable homes will be created during this parliament.
Wider market trends are often tricky to disentangle from election effects, so the long-term impacts of the new Conservative government continue to be realised. But for the short-term, it seems that an overall positive boost to the mortgage market is being experienced.
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