After three years of hostility and intense debate, alongside two elections, the latest general election in December 2019 had the potential to provide the political breakthrough many in the UK were hoping to accomplish.
Overwhelmed by Brexit, Westminster was frozen in a deadlock, which created a lack of confidence in the current government’s competence to lead.
Nevertheless, the fact that PM Boris Johnson could clinch a large majority in parliament should encourage relative stability for the next few years, which brings good news for investors and business leaders who have been fatigued by uncertainty in recent times.
FJP Investment, the UK property investment firm, has commissioned independent research recently, questioning over 750 property investors in the UK, in order to discover their opinions and thoughts on the Conservative government’s proposed plans for the UK property sector.
When studying the data, it seems at first that investors are supportive of the government’s planned reforms. In fact, a significant majority of those questioned, at 70 per cent, favour the government’s plans to introduce a stamp duty surcharge of 3 per cent for international buyers of property in the UK. This attitude, however, is understandable, as this policy is likely to make property more accessible for buyers based in the UK.
A comparable number, at 68 per cent, also backs the government’s plans to give residents more say in the type and style of new builds constructed in their local area. New builds often have a negative reputation, for being unattractive constructs, which are built without consideration for the environment. Moving forward, this type of policy will prove crucial in ensuring the homebuilding revolution’s success in future years.
In addition to this, many property investors are also in favour of other policies that the Conservative government plans to implement, such as banning the sale of new build homes on a leasehold basis. Therefore, there seems to be growing confidence in the UK government’s new approach to tackling the challenges currently facing the housing sector.
The Chancellor has also revealed a new construction strategy within the forthcoming Spring Budget, which appears to address the concerns which industry experts have been expressing in recent years.
However, some property investors continue to have concerns over the government’s ability to implement its proposals. Of the property investors questioned, 61 per cent expected the UK government will miss its target of constructing one million new properties in the 2020s.
This lack of optimism is completely understandable, as one after another, prime ministers have announced ambitious targets for construction which many in the sector have viewed as unattainable. Despite some positivity around the current government’s aims, the same target remains, and there still remains widespread scepticism concerning the government’s ability to resolve the housing crisis. Property inspection software such InventoryBase can prove invaluable for investors of buy to let property.
This stagnation could be due to focus, as significant issues affecting the whole country, such as limited housing, demand consistent and co-ordinated long-term plans and efforts to be effectively solved. With over half of those questioned by FJP Investment expressing worries that the current government is ignoring serious domestic issues such as this in favour of the UK’s departure from the EU, it is a tall order in the present climate.
Looking at this research, it is clear what issues property investors want the current government to prioritise. Although the general election was dominated by Brexit, it saw the Conservative party adopt a variety of prudent policies which would help in bolstering demand and invigorating the property market. The research also shows that property investors in the UK are in favour of this government’s key ideas for policy, including stamp duty increases for international investors. Despite this, there continues to be major reservations for investors in the ability of Boris Johnson’s government to deliver his manifesto successfully.