As Liz Hamson’s leader column suggests, this snap general election is about one thing and one thing only — Brexit.
Housing, always a contentious issue and one that excites people like nothing else, could be sidelined during this particularly unique political turn of events.
In an age in which government policies and announcements are extensively previewed in the press, the prime minister’s decision to call a general election came completely out of the blue. What does this mean for our industry? Nothing, other than it’s probably a slam-dunk win for Theresa May.
In the short term, the government is going to be pretty much closed for business until 8 June. Hot on the heels of the election – and regardless of the outcome – parliament will break for recess and government won’t be properly ‘business as usual’ until September.
If, or once, the Conservative government wins the election, the industry will hope that it implements the delivery of the recently published housing white paper, which signaled housing reform. Presumably, much of this good work will be kicked into touch for the foreseeable future.
It’ll be interesting to see which of the 2015 manifesto housing pledges will survive and which will be cut. Inevitably, there will be those among us hoping for a change of heart from the government on stamp duty for PRS schemes.
Also, will the “everyone who works hard should be able to own a home of their own” 2015 promise on home ownership be watered down for a more PRS-centric worldview?
The silver lining to all this is that, by bringing the election forward, May has defused political pressure for a hard ‘cliff-edge’ Brexit. And that’s got to be good for all of us.
Howard Crocker is Managing Director at Delph Property Group