17 April 2015 by

Property & the Election – How could it affect you?

With the General Election only a few weeks away, there is ongoing heated debate between the parties as they try and convince us to give them our votes. One of the major topics being discussed this year is property and housing.

There is no denying that we face a severe shortage of affordable housing in the UK and that first time buyers are struggling to move onto the housing ladder. Other than tackling these issues, what other property proposals could affect you and your home ownership? We take a brief look at a few here:

Mansion Tax – this is a Labour manifesto pledge that any property valued at £2m or more will be subject to an annual tax. No definite details have been released yet, but the information so far indicates that properties valued at between £2m and £3m would be subject to an annual tax of £3,000 per annum, with the owners of properties valued over £3m paying much more.

Private Rent – the different parties have all pledged to deal with the spiralling cost of private rented property with various proposals. Labour have said that they will introduce 3 year tenancies to give more security to tenants, and also that they will abolish letting agent fees. The Lib Dems want to introduce a ‘rent to own’ policy whereby tenants could pay an additional sum each month towards buying the property, and after 30 years gain outright ownership.

First Time Buyers – in an attempt to open up opportunities for first time buyers, there has been much talk from all the parties about simply building more houses. The Conservatives have gone slightly further and suggested that, if developers offer a 20% discount to a first time buyer, then they will not have to offer any affordable housing as part of the relevant development (which at present is a legal requirement).

Overall there has been a slow down in the property market leading up to the election, as general uncertainty and nervousness is making people wait to put their homes on the market. This is a natural trend and agents predict that we should be back to ‘business as usual’ by the middle of May.

In the meantime, the main focus on the property sector from all parties has been on building more homes, and also the reform of the current Right-to-Buy and social housing schemes. We will obviously have to wait and see, after 7 May, which new policies will be introduced and what effect these will have on the property market.


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