The game of homes: Research reveals house prices increase more under labour government

by Jonny Stevens on 7th May 2019

Labour launched its ‘Housing for the Many’ green paper 12 months ago, talking about Britain’s broken housing system under the Conservatives, and promising to make affordable housing a top priority.

But research by Housesimplereveals that while Jeremy Corbyn cries foul over housing affordability, average house prices have actually risen faster under Labour governments than Conservative governments since 1951.

According to house price figures* analysed by Housesimple, spanning 14 Prime Ministers, prices under Labour PMs have increased, on average, 0.72% month-on-month, compared to 0.57% under Conservative PMs.

Labour’s dominance in The Game of Homes is built on Tony Blair’s 10-year tenure as PM, when average UK house prices rocketed, rising from £58,403 in May 1997 to £181,810 in June 2007*. That’s an average increase of £123,407 and equates to a monthly average price rise of 0.94%.

The highest average monthly house price increase under a Labour government came under James Callaghan, from April 1976 to May 1979, when house prices increased on average 1.32% a month.

The highest average monthly price rise in the last 70 years actually came under a Conservative government, led by Sir Edward Heath from June 1970 to March 1974, when prices increased on average 1.8% a month.

Gordon Brown is the only PM since 1951, who resided over a drop in house prices during his time in Downing Street. Average prices were £181,810 when Brown became PM but was 6.7% lower at £168,719 when he was succeeded by David Cameron.

The following table shows average house price rises/falls during the terms of 14 Prime Ministers since 1951, ranked by average monthly price movements:

Prime Minister

Party

Months serving as PM

Increase/(decrease) in avg. house prices during period (£)

Avg. monthly rise in prices (compounding interest)

Sir Edward Heath

Conservative

45

5,476

1.80%

James Callaghan

Labour

37

7,336

1.32%

Tony Blair

Labour

121

123,407

0.94%

Baroness Margaret Thatcher

Conservative

137

35,844

0.77%

Harold Wilson

Labour

25

1,811

0.67%

Sir Alex Douglas-Home

Conservative

12

242

0.66%

Harold Wilson

Labour

68

1,267

0.49%

Harold Macmillan

Conservative

81

922

0.47%

David Cameron

Conservative

74

37,630

0.27%

Sir Anthony Eden

Conservative

21

84

0.20%

Theresa May

Conservative

33

6,345

0.10%

Sir John Major

Conservative

77

3,484

0.09%

Sir Winston Churchill

Conservative

42

46

0.06%

Gordon Brown

Labour

35

-13,091

-0.21%

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agentsHousesimple comments: “In The Game of Homes the stakes are high. In modern British history, we’ve seen an overall increase in homeownership but since 2003 this has declined, especially homeownership amongst 35-44 year olds, priced out of the market and forced to rent for longer. First-time buyers are also less likely to be able to buy the property they want first time around, meaning they need to make one or more steps on the ladder to attain their desired property.

“Depending on who you speak to, Britain’s housing affordability issues are either down to Labour or Conservative policies. Regardless of who you may blame, the fact remains we are in desperate need of more affordable housing, particularly in our major cities, to meet fervent demand.

“Unaffordability is particularly severe in London and the south-east. We are likely to see a steady flow of people, particularly families, leaving the capital in the coming years, in search of more affordable areas. Regions such as the north-west and Yorkshire are likely to be the beneficiaries from an influx of talent from the south. Families are attracted by the combination of thriving local economies, strong job prospects and affordable family housing. Although house prices are now on the rise in these areas, they aren’t soaring at the rate we have witnessed in the south in recent times, and there is still plenty of stock that is fairly priced.”

How much is your house worth?

Get a FREE no obligation valuation visit from our Local Property Expert

Book a free valuation visit

Sign up to our newsletter

Want to hear about breaking news, industry updates and useful tips? Enter your email below

Share