The agency industry has been acting with delight over the likelihood that there will be a slim overall majority for the Conservatives in the new parliament.
Foxtons’ shares rose 13 per cent in the opening hour on the stock market this morning; Savills' shares rose about 7.5 per cent. Meanwhile central London chain Douglas & Gordon predicted that capital values in prime London would double in the next five years thanks to the result.
Countrywide’s chief executive Alison Platt says a flurry of activity is now likely.
“We now expect there to be greater activity in the housing market, especially in the £2m-plus markets facing the prospect of a Mansion Tax. We anticipate this Conservative government to turn its attention from implementing policies that stimulated demand in the housing market to addressing the lack of housing supply” she says.
Edward Heaton, who leads the high-end buying agency Heaton and Partners, says: “Prime country house prices could rise by as much as 10 per cent within weeks. There will be bun fights in the next few weeks for the best houses which come to the market as confidence in the top-end of the regional market returns.”
Savills’ research head, Lucian Cook - who had been a vocal opponent of the mansion tax in particular and was rebuked by former shadow chancellor Ed Balls for leading a Savills ‘scaremongering’ campaign - led the agency’s response to the results.
“We expect much of the deferred demand from the pre-election period to flow back into the prime market over the remainder of 2015 and 2016, particularly given that the spectre of a mansion tax is now removed from the market” he says, although he then adds that prime central London markets were already looking “much more fully priced” than other parts of the capital, even before the election.
Nonetheless, Savills’ year prime market forecasts are for “steady growth” - its description for a 22.7 per cent rise in prime London prices and a 23.9 per cent rise in prime property prices outside the capital.
In Scotland, John Coleman of Smiths Gore - a rural agency recently acquired by Savills and about to be rebranded - says last year’s referendum had already led to the ‘factoring in’ of the SNP surge into the housing market. “It is now clear that we will have a strong Scottish government which will give some certainty to the market” he says.
However, not everyone believes the result is undiluted good news.
Adam Day of online estate agency Hatched says the result may make the market more buoyuant and push up prices unreasonably. “Prices are already far too high for buyers across the UK. I also believe passionately that everyone should have the chance to own their own home and all the help being offered to first time buyers, fuelling demand and therefore prices, means the Conservatives have not got it all right” says Day.
And Dominic Agace, chief executive officer of Winkworth estate agents, says the Tories should not be complacent. “The Tories need to ensure that more houses get built. I would like to see them making moves to get homes built on brownfield sites that they have identified."