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Agents back likely Conservative victory in June General Election

Estate agents have been broadly supportive of the decision by Prime Minister Theresa May to push for a snap General Election on June 8.

The decision, likely to be ratified in the House of Commons today, received general support from the industry yesterday with many expressing their hope it would bring some economic and political stability to the country from the summer onwards.

In a joint statement, David Cox - chief executive of ARLA Propertymark - and Mark Hayward, his counterpart at NAEA Propertymark said: “All political parties need to put housing front and centre in their election manifestos. The country is rapidly moving towards crisis point, where a chronic shortage of housing has become unsustainable. Rather than trying to look at individual issues, it’s time to take an holistic view of housing policy.”

Ed Heaton, founder and managing partner of search agency Heaton & Partners, says the call for an election is “a positive.”

“The snap nature of the announcement means that there has been no long build up with buyers and sellers wanting to hold off. Whilst the outcome is widely expected to be a Tory landslide, the element of uncertainty is limited. The prospect of five more years of Conservative rules will be seen by many as a real positive” he adds.

Jean Liggett, chief executive of Properties of The World, says the poll is good news. “The General Election will stamp May’s authority and decrease uncertainty going into negotiations regarding the UK’s exit from the EU. Markets in the UK dislike uncertainty and crave certainty. This certainty will positively impact on the UK property market, resulting in increased sales, increased prices or at least no decreases” she says.

Richie Tramontana, director of sales and lettings agency Red Property Partnership, says: “We may see a small rush from international buyers in the London property market as the pound jumped one per cent against the US Dollar and 0.5 per cent against the Euro within a couple of hours of the announcement. This may be seen as the bottom of the pound’s deflation and a reason to get back in before the pound climbs further.”

The current government’s proposed ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants in England will move ahead as before, the government has confirmed. Meanwhile the Residential Landlords Association’s policy director, David Smith, says the June 8 poll is a chance to put housing first.

“Over recent years, the private rental market has been hit by tax hikes, benefit cuts and growing regulations all of which are making it more difficult for tenants to access and afford a place to live. The same changes have made it harder for good landlords to provide the quality accommodation that tenants have a right to expect and have discouraged further investment in new homes.

“We need a housing market that works for all. The majority of landlords provide good quality housing and a good service to their tenants. The political parties need to recognise this and deliver for tenants and good landlords alike” he insists.

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    It would be nice to think the parties are going to be interested in housing issues over the next couple of months, but this is a Brexit election, pure and simple. If May's majority increases dramatically, we are going to be in for a very hard Brexit indeed backed by UKIP and Tory right-wingers and we'll have a very bumpy ride. But it is more than just wishful thinking that the 48% might scupper May's intention and we will have a mish-mash alliance of the centre and left followed by another referendum, when the result will be 51.9%: 48.1% in favour of remaining in the EU! What a mess!

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