The announcement of the UK general election for July 4th 2024 has come earlier than expected—but what does this mean for the housing market?

What impact will the general election have on the housing market?

Overall, we don’t see the election having as big an impact on the housing market as previous years. This is due to there not being a huge divide in policy between the two main parties, with neither having many specifics on housing other than a focus on reforming the private rental sector and boosting housing supply. However, the number of completed sales may now fall slightly short of the 1.1m we expected for 2024.

Businesses and landlords will want to see that political parties have concrete plans – namely for boosting housing supply across all tenures and getting the right reforms to the private rented sector. This will ensure that supply is maintained while giving renters more protections.

What will housing market activity look like over the general election period?

As we run up to summer and the slower period in the housing market, the election announcement is likely to stall the pace at which new sales are being agreed to in the coming weeks.

Most buyers who are close to completing on a house will ideally want to push through and agree a sale now. Those who are earlier in the process may look to delay decisions until the autumn after the election is over.

What does the housing market look like at the moment?

The housing market has been recovering with more homes coming to the market for sale, and an increased volume of sales overall. This is a sign of growing confidence amongst sellers, even though mortgage rates remain at 4.5% to 5%.

Currently, there are 392,000 homes in the sales pipeline that all working their way to completion over 2024. This is 3% higher than this time last year, and we don’t expect to see buyers already in the process of working toward sales to pull out.

The incentive to move remains for many households – in particular for first-time buyers who are escaping rapid growth in rent costs, and upsizers who delayed moving last year when mortgage rates increased.

Key takeaways:

  • People who are close to agreeing a sale on a home will want to push ahead
  • Early stage house hunters may hold back on decision-making until after the election
  • Activity in the housing market has been rising with more homes for sale and more homes being sold
  • There are 392,000 homes currently in the sales pipeline, and we don’t expect to see buyers already in this process to pull out