I am sitting at my desk at Crayson at 8am on the 8th May having been up all night watching the results of the UK General Election unfurl. I felt that this election was fundamental; not just for the future growth and development of my company, but for its very survival. The conservatives have won an overall majority and the news has also hit that Ed Balls has lost his seat. These results are quite unexpected as nearly everyone was predicting a hung parliament and various coalition/minority government combinations with the odds on Labour to win.
This could not be a more profound result for the London property market. Uncertainty is the biggest enemy to transaction levels, which have been suffering. Prime Central London house transactions over £2 million have been down to unprecedented low levels as buyers have shown concern about a number of Labour policies. These include ‘Mansion Tax’, the removal of the non-domicile tax status, and further rises in the higher bands of income tax. All these policies have been suppressed with the return of the Conservatives for at least another five years. It is likely that the party will be proactive with the ‘Mansion Tax’ issue by looking at the option of raising higher bands of Council Tax, in order to address the more glaring inequalities that have surfaced within the debate.
The Conservatives are set to continue with rebuilding the economy, attracting investment in industry and job creation. Over the past five years, the UK has become a stable safe-haven and has successfully attracted wealth from all over the world; there is no denying the trickle-down effect this has brought to the capital. The country was in danger of following other European countries, which have witnessed a huge drain of entrepreneurial-ism. As a result, their economies are shrinking and they have insufficient funds to pay for vital public services.
The next challenge for the Conservative party is to represent the entire population in an inclusive mission to improve living standards for all. Housing is a crucial part of this and the government has a role to provide support to the sector whilst allowing the free-market economy to continue to flourish.