In the final few days before the UK's general election on June 8, there's everything to play for. Polls are narrowing, with some showing the Conservatives and Labour on much more of an equal par than previously predicted. With such political uncertainty hitting our shores, we're looking towards the housing market to see what ups and downs this election period is expected to bring with it.
Business as usual
Although there's normally a dip in market activity in the run up to an election, this one is a special case. Property buying and selling usually drops between 3 and 8% during the four months leading up to a vote, but the very nature of a snap election means there's not as much time.
The slowdown has been squeezed into one month rather than four, so most people have continued buying and selling as normal. An eMoov survey after the initial announcement found that a majority (57% of sellers and 59% of buyers) are sticking to their moving plans.
Uncertainty can cause little wobbles in the housing market (just take a look at what happened to UK house prices after the Brexit vote), but up until very recently, there hasn't been much doubt about this election. Pollsters were convinced that the result of the vote would be a returned Conservative government – perhaps with a stronger mandate. This means that prices have stayed relatively stable.
Now, a recent poll has shown that the Conservatives could lose their majority. Although currency markets are already taking note, it might be a little too late in the game for this change to affect house prices before the big day itself.
What happens after the vote?
Whether we get Corbyn, Farron or May, a decisive result in any direction is likely to cause a surge in activity. Those who have held off for the past seven weeks will finally snap back into action. However, as HouseSimple.com's CEO Alex Gosling told the Daily Mail, "We're unlikely to see property prices fall off a cliff."
The good news is that all three major political parties are 'housing positive.' They all plan to build more homes, which could give the post-election housing market a much-needed boost in increasing the amount of choice available to buyers.