Leaders in property react to government election results
Rayna Hunter, CEO of LH1 Global; Brian Comer, Chairman of Comer Homes; Jon Byers, Director at Anderson Rose; and Paul Cosgrove, Director at Finlay Brewer. July 2024

Leaders in property react to government election results

05/07/2024 by Buildington

With the election of a new Labour Government, the property market is abuzz with speculation about what this change will mean for the industry.

Several key figures in the property market have shared their thoughts that reflect both optimism and caution as they anticipate the potential impact of the new policies.

Paul Cosgrove, Director of prime London estate agency Finlay Brewer said: “The property market is cautiously optimistic about a change in government, so our hope is to see a positive start to Labour’s tenure, with efforts to boost the economy, which will in turn help to build confidence and drive activity. The one concern is where the focus will be on taxation to generate the budget for the various national policies muted, with a fear of Capital Gains Tax and Second Homes Levies being further targeted, which could have a negative impact, especially at the top end of the market. 


“Whilst transaction levels overall have been more robust than expected so far this year, the more expensive market segments have been slower than anticipated given the uncertainty of potential property tax changes with a change of Government. Now that we have that clarity, we are quietly confident of seeing increased activity across all segments of the market. However, we anxiously await the direction Labour will elect to go which should be clearer when the Autumn Statement is announced.”


Brian Comer, Chairman of UK property developer Comer Homes: “If Labour’s campaign pledges and election manifesto are to be believed then housing is likely to be near the top of its agenda, which if it materialises, will be hugely welcomed by housebuilders across the country. Whilst buyer incentives would be welcomed one of the first things that has to be addressed is the planning system. 


“The sheer amount of red tape and underfunded planning departments are hindering the ability to deliver the number of homes that the country badly needs, so we hope the former Chancellor’s promise to speed up planning applications in the 2023 Autumn Statement is honoured. Opening up the ‘grey’ belt and areas of the green belt that are suitable for development will further boost housing numbers, but it is going to need positive collaboration between local council’s and developers to deliver the best possible product that will last for generations.


“A new government is always full of promises that provide a boost to the national mood and foster positive sentiment in the market but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and a long term, serious focus on the housebuilding sector is crucial to get the country building again.”


Rayna Hunter, CEO of specialist real estate agency LH1 Global: “The clarity following this election will be welcomed across all sectors, but especially in property as stability and assurance are key drivers to a strong performing market. The property industry wants to see positive energy from the new Labour government and the hot potato of housing ministers to end. Labour’s manifesto has pledged to deliver more homes and that starts with fixing the broken planning system. 


“The construction and property industries are also key factors and contributors to the economy, which will inevitably be top of Keir Starmer’s priority list, so the sooner he gives our sector the proper care and attention it needs the faster we will see positive economical growth. This in turn will make the UK an attractive investment destination once more. 


“We also hope that after a number of years of high taxes on second home ownership and the recent increases to Capital Gains Tax that these are not further targeted, otherwise, we could see domestic landlords and property investors squeezed further out of the market. Ultimately, it’s going to be a case of let’s wait and see, but there is a sense of optimism that if they can make the right decisions, it could bring positive change to the market.” 


Jon Byers, Director of prime London estate agency Anderson Rose: “It has been fairly certain since the election was first announced that Labour were going to emerge victorious and the fact that this has not had a noticeable effect on activity within the prime property market is a positive sign. Labour’s manifesto has apparently been costed and set out to implement policies that will drive realistic growth, so if this is actioned in full, something that rarely materialises I must stress, then the market could be set for a major boost as the country becomes a stable and attractive destination once more. 


“Where there is caution and uncertainty is what impact future taxations could have. We will wait with baited breath to see what and who will be the focus but our preference is to see second homeowners, landlords and investors incentivised. This would lead to a surge in transactions, which in turn will boost the public purse and that is ultimately Labour’s number one priority for the next five years.”


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