Capital concern: What will the general election do for London’s housing market?

A voter collection box for ballots, painted with the Union Jack flag of the UK.

Housing, and increasing supply and affordability across the UK, has been one of the main issues in the general election campaign. Britain will vote on Thursday, June 8 for a new government.

The three main parties have all offered to increase the number of homes built every year, but what would that mean in practical terms, in particular in London where many house-hunters have long been priced out of the market?

Mark Weedon, head of research at the crowdfunding website Property Partners, described the housing market as “broken” and said the shortage of newbuilds is now chronic. Using projected figures from the Office for National Statistics, he said England faced a housing deficit that will only increase in the coming decade. In London, the current shortfall is 3.8 percent, predicted to reach 7.3 percent (288,623) houses by 2022.

Here we outline what the three main parties say in their manifestos about housing and how they say they will deal with the issues facing the nation.

Conservatives: One million homes by 2020

“We have not built enough homes in this country for generations, and buying or renting a home has become increasingly affordable… We will fix the dysfunctional housing market so that housing is more affordable and people have the security they need to plan for the future. The key to this is to build enough homes to meet demand…”

Pledges:

  • 1 million homes by the end of 2020
  • 500,000 more by the end of 2022
  • Free up more land for development
  • Diversify who builds homes

https://www.conservatives.com/manifesto

Labour: 100,000 council/housing association homes per year for sale or rent

“Britain has a housing crisis – a crisis of supply and a crisis of affordability. Since 2010, housebuilding has fallen to its lowest levels since the 1920s…there are almost 200,00 fewer home-owners, and new affordable housebuilding is at a 24-year low. Labour will not only build more, we will build better.”

Pledges:

  • More than 1 million new homes
  • 100,000 council/housing association homes a year for affordable rent or sale
  • Establish a new Department for Housing
  • Prioritise brownfield sites and start on a new generation of new towns

http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/secure-homes-for-all

Liberal Democrats: Build 300,000 homes a year

“The housing crisis in Britain has become an emergency. For far too long Britain has built many fewer homes than we need; unless we build enough to meet demand, year after year, we will find that housing costs rise further out of reach. These new houses must be sustainably planned to ensure that excessive pressure is not placed on existing infrastructure.”

Pledges:

  • Establish a government commissioning programme to build 300,00 homes every year for sale and rent
  • Create at least 10 new garden cities in England
  • Set up a government-backed development bank to invest in major housebuilding projects
  • Allow local authorities and housing associations to build council and social housing

http://www.libdems.org.uk/families

Polling stations for the general election open on Thursday, June 8 at 7am and close at 10pm.

About the Author Frances Traynor

Fran is the content writer for Capital Conveyancing, producing articles on all aspects of the conveyancing process and around the UK property market in general. If there is a topic you'd like to see covered on these pages, please drop Fran a line on Frances@searchesuk.co.uk.

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