Election 2017  

First-time buyers could get a boost from election result

First-time buyers could get a boost from election result

First-time buyers could be one of the main groups to benefit from the dramatic general election result, it has been claimed.

Politicians looking to appeal to younger voters – whose turnout was reported to be up substantially in Thursday night’s poll – may look to extend policies aimed at getting them onto the housing ladder.

An early estimate from Sky News data suggested turnout among 18 to 24-year-olds was 66.4 per cent – up from 43 per cent in 2015 – with many youngsters backing the Labour Party.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “Politicians will have to consider the needs of the young more than they have in the past, which could mean more help for first-time buyers, perhaps extending Help to Buy so that it covers older properties as well as new build, dealing with affordability issues and more help on Stamp Duty.

“One thing all the parties agree on is that we need more housing, so it has to be a priority for whichever formal or informal coalition is created.”

Meanwhile, London’s prime property market could see an investment boost following a sharp fall in the value of sterling, it has been claimed.

Properties at the high end of the price range are likely to become more attractive to foreign investors looking to take advantage of the discounted deals on offer, according to real estate investment advisory firm London Central Portfolio.

The pound dropped around 2 per cent in early trading, though has since staged a recovery.

Lauren Kemp, senior investment and communications manager at London Central Portfolio, said: “This is likely to continue in the current political situation which may encourage more active investors to take advantage of discounted prices in the property and stock market.

“Nevertheless, it is anticipated that transactions will continue to fall in prime central London whilst investors assimilate the new situation, particularly at the luxury end and in the new build sector, already battered through the introduction of new residential taxes.”

The Federation of Master Builders predicted the construction sector could be hit by the political uncertainty but welcomed the prospect of a softer Brexit.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Theresa May stood on a hard Brexit platform and she has clearly not been given a mandate to approach the negotiations in this way.

“This could be a positive for business leaders who are concerned about a broad range of issues – for the construction sector, our greatest concern is that the flow of migrant workers might be reduced too quickly and before we are able to put in place a framework for training sufficient UK workers to replace them.”

Although many industry commentators have been forecasting a continued slowdown in the housing market due to the election result, others were more optimistic.

John Phillips, director at Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart, said: “Some buyers and sellers have recently adopted the wait and see approach and it is likely that the market will quieten down again next week while things start to settle down.