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Move over X-Factor, we're coming up to a General Election: Dave and Ed are taking centre stage and both are waxing lyrical about the housing market.

Its party conference season so I thought it would be appropriate to take this opportunity to reflect on what exactly Labour and the Conservatives have in store for us, should they win next May (it's going be a tight one).

So who's up first Labour. It is clear that the red party are full of good intentions when it comes to housing - indeed Ed Miliband this year repeated his pledge to increase house-building rates to 200,000 by the end of the next Parliament. Not only that, but he has also promised to double the number of first time buyers (30,000 in July) over a ten year period. Great news!

The problem when it comes to Labour is that they have, to date, been unable to explain how exactly these targets will be achieved - while empty promises' may, at this stage, come across a little strong, these are certainly promises that for the time being at least, do lack a little substance.

The Tories, on the other hand, have just announced proposals for 100,000 new starter homes' that will be made available at a 20% discount specifically to those looking to climb up on to the first rung of the housing ladder. How A relaxation of planning laws for developers involved - a strategy that will without doubt attract its own controversy.

The run up to a General Election is always an interesting time to look at what each party is lining up to win voters' hearts, minds and - last but certainly not least - wallets.

In both cases, when it comes to the housing issue, it will be interesting to see how the proposals pan out.

Uncertainty is never great in building confidence amongst buyers and sellers. General elections tend to put people off making the big decision about moving home until after it's all over. But given how close the parties are in the polls and another coalition likely, summer 2015 could prove to be a difficult time for the market.

What is almost certain is that potential home-buyers (and I imagine first time buyers in particular), will be waiting with baited breath to see exactly what goodies await them post-election before making their move.

*Eddie Goldsmith is Chairman of the Conveyancing Association and Senior Partner at Goldsmith Williams


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    Housing is a low priority in reality for Governments (just look at the turnover of Housing Ministers). After the General Election whoever is in power will say very little on the subject, and hope he problem might go away. I suspect UKIP might be having a bit of input as I think they could just hold the balance of power; an interesting prospect.

    • 04 October 2014 11:31 AM
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