Well, it all came as a bit of a surprise – Theresa May calling a snap UK General Election on 8 June 2017.
When I first heard the news, my immediate reaction was that calling the UK General Election was, on balance, a smart move for Theresa May as if she wins (as the opinion polls are strongly suggesting) she will gain more power in both the EU Brexit negotiations and with the hard-liners in her own party.
However, how the UK General Election will impact the property market in Edinburgh is another matter; one that may become (slightly) clearer over the weeks of the UK General Election campaigning as Party Manifesto’s become clearer (or should I say slightly less opaque/unfocussed!). I am looking forward to posting on this subject over the next few weeks.
As a starter to this, regulation wise, the UK General Election is not going to directly affect the Edinburgh property market as housing is a devolved matter so it is the Scottish Government that sets the regulations on housing. In fact, the Scottish Government is more advanced in it’s regulation of housing than the rest of the UK, so if anything some of the Scottish regulation may be exported to the rest of the UK.
Historic experience would suggest that UK General Elections does not have a significant impact on the housing market. The graph below shows the number of housing transactions per month since 1995 and the dates of the 5 UK General Elections since then. This shows that there have not been significant movements in the number of housing transactions around the times of these Elections.
So am I saying that UK General Elections are not important to the Edinburgh property market? Well, no and, actually, strongly no particularly in this case.
The Edinburgh property market is likely to be influenced by three key things coming out of the UK General Election – the future direction of the UK Economy, the stance on Brexit negotiations following the UK General Election and whether the UK General Election makes IndyRef2 more or less likely.
Keep reading The Edinburgh Property Blog over the next few weeks for further analysis of how the UK General Election will impact the Edinburgh property market.
However, take heart from my mantra – we are not building enough new properties to satisfy the growing demand for property resulting from the growing population, people living longer, people wanting/needing to live on their own more etc. Given this, whatever comes out of the UK General Elections, the fundamentals of supply and demand is likely to mean good things for the Edinburgh property market.