The United Kingdom now has a new Prime Minister which moves us on swiftly from Theresa May’s reign as our second-ever female leader. Love him or loathe him, Boris Johnson is now leading the country into a historic era in terms of relations with Europe and the rest of the world. With the appointment of Johnson comes a step-change in political policy, but what does his appointment mean for the property market, if anything?
During the midst of his campaign to become Prime Minister, Johnson made some proposals which could have far-reaching consequences for the property market – many of which could be extremely positive.
One of the key proposals that the man dubbed Bojo has put forwards revolves around stamp duty; for properties that cost less than half a million pounds stamp duty would be completely cut, and at the other end of the scale properties valued at over £1.5m would see rates cut from 12% to 7%. This latter proposal, in particular, could have a welcome impact on housing in the capital city due to the higher values of property prevalent throughout London.
These changes would be welcome to all in the property sector and could potentially signal an upsurge in property transaction levels, should they come into place. For the lettings market also, which has been subject to many legal changes in the past few months, this incentive could lead to growth.
The new Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, has described his modus operandi for property as “We will focus relentlessly on boosting supply and homeownership,” adding that “As the Prime Minister has made clear, we’re determined to close the opportunity gap and give millions of young people the chance to own their own homes.”
As well as appointing a comparatively youthful Housing Minister (Jenrick is the first cabinet minister to have been born in the 1980s), Boris Johnson has also appointed Sir Edward Lister as Chief of Staff. With Lister’s former employment being as chairman of Homes England, he brings with him a wealth of property insight to one of the top cabinet positions, which may benefit the industry in the long-term.
It seems that the sentiment amongst estate agents is positive with regards to Johnson’s appointment with Iain McKenzie, the Chief Executive of The Guild of Property Professionals, affirming that: “I am in favour of anyone who is going to improve sentiment or confidence in the housing market. Current economic data is strong, but the uncertainty of Brexit has caused stagnation in the market. Mr Johnson’s commitment to ‘deliver Brexit’ on 31st October with a new ‘can do’ spirit is therefore very much welcomed.”