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95% of homebuyers are undeterred by General Election, what about you?

By Sophia Wood-Burgess

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A hot-off-the-press report by Rightmove found potential homebuyers are not bothered by the recent news of the General Election. Do home-movers have nerves of steel? Or is there good reason not to wobble?

“People generally assume that political uncertainty causes ripples in the housing market. It may surprise you to know that a general election doesn’t usually stir up uncertainty for buyers and sellers. So if you’re worried it could disrupt your property goals, come talk to our sales team – we’ve got great news for you.

"This is not only something we see in the statistics, but it’s something I can attest to from working in Foxtons Sales department through previous elections.

"If anything, we see optimism around elections. We see buyer activity pick up and house prices grow afterwards.

"With buyer sentiment on a positive trajectory this spring, I expect our customers will be pleasantly surprised with the opportunities we can provide this summer.”

~Jean Jameson, Chief Sales Officer at Foxtons

Over 14,322 homebuyers can’t be wrong

Before the election was announced, we reported buyer demand was rising. Foxtons sales team were working with an upswing in spring momentum, outpacing the previous year’s applicant numbers with ease.

Then, on 22 May, Rishi stood in the rain outside 10 Downing Street, called for an election and challenged everyone’s timelines….or so you’d expect. Did the general election actually affect everyone’s plans?

In a herculean effort to reassure sellers and empower buyers once the election was announced, Rightmove surveyed more than 14,322 people planning a move. 95% of respondents said no, the election didn’t change their plans.

Rightmove also looked back at the 2015 and 2019 elections and discovered, “Demand from buyers was consistent leading up to the election, and experienced a post-election boost” (General Election Spotlight, Rightmove).

Property for sale Central London
Photograph: potential buyers are not put off by news of a general election. Are you among them? Find your London dream home.

Keep calm and move on: Foxtons analysis

We’ve done some digging of our own. Looking at how many sales were completed in London in the last 40 years, you can get a clearer understanding of how elections, other political events and factors outside of the political realm might affect Londoners’ willingness to sell.

London property market update
Foxtons analysis of Land Registry data

Looking at the majority of the data (1997 – 2015), the elections came in the middle of a rise in sales volumes, which continued on after they occurred.

Other factors at play

Of course, we have to consider seasonality. Most elections take place in the summer, which often coincides with a natural boost to the property market.

In 2017 we saw a snap election called by the unelected leader, Theresa May, following a Brexit vote. The 2019 election in mid-December came amid a downward trend and preceded Brexit coming into effect. These house sellers had a lot more to contend with politically than a simple election, and London didn’t see the same levels of motivation from previous years.

On the up
Stand out in London house market

Read: How to make your home stand out in a busy market

We find this graph most interesting when we consider that sales volumes are rising again.

Zoopla has just released their latest House Price Index, stating the number of homes for sale in the UK has grown by 20% in the year to April, achieving the “highest numbers of homes for sale in last 8 years.”

Will we see volumes continue to rise following the election as more homeowners are motivated to make their move? It’s impossible to say, but if you’re inspired to start your sale, it’s a good time to book a free Foxtons valuation.

The big picture

The other question this chart raises is: how much does an election actually influence the market? Over the long-term, it doesn’t seem to impede London property values in the slightest.

We analysed the London House Price Index around each general election, and found the general election has little impact on rising house price growth in London:

London House Price Index
Foxtons analysis of Land Registry data

It follows right along our previous analysis of house prices over the last 20 years in the Foxtons London Report 2023. This report demonstrated that even a global financial crisis, EU referendum and global pandemic could not stop London’s long-term house price growth:

Buyers and sellers, here’s what to do.

Changes in the property market London

This is a great time to review:
What do changes in the market mean for my property sale?

Thinking of selling?

Understanding your local London market is key to a successful sale – this could be very different to what’s happening in the UK market at large.

So, request a Foxtons valuation and we will help you set the best asking price for your unique property, using our decades of data and professional expertise to address any market changes.

Looking to buy?

We strongly recommend you chat with a mortgage broker like Alexander Hall to get a clear picture on what you can afford – they will provide you with a price range that’s significantly more accurate than any mortgage calculator could achieve.

Alexander Hall can help you make the most of the increasing mortgage approval rates. Plus, they can give you a mortgage agreement in principle to support any offers you make, and you’ll have an expert on your case whatever 2024’s summer market brings.

Start your search: browse our London homes on the market.

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