Home Property The Conservatives set to lose mantle as ‘party of home ownership,’ securing just 12 per cent support 

The Conservatives set to lose mantle as ‘party of home ownership,’ securing just 12 per cent support 

3rd Jul 24 3:58 pm

New national polling commissioned by Cornerstone Tax, the UK’s leading stamp duty advisers, reveals that with less than 24 hours until the nation heads to the polling booth, nearly a majority (48%) of voters who consider housing as a deciding factor for their vote will back Labour.

Importantly, the poll reflects the expected nationwide trend in the collapse of support for the Conservatives, with the traditional ‘party of home ownership’ only set to secure 12% of the vote. The Liberal Democrats are close to parity with the Tories, securing 10%, while Reform UK is at 6%, and the Greens at 4%.

Cornerstone’s data across a nationally representative sample of 2092 people, has found that the state of housing will influence 25% of voters’ decisions in Thursday’s election, with 2.4 million voters saying it will be a deciding factor for them. The Labour Party has pledged to commence homebuilding from ‘day one’ if elected to office on Thursday, aiming to reform a housing market where the average 20% deposit costs the equivalent of 105% of an annual salary, according to Nationwide.

David Hannah, Group Chairman of Cornerstone Tax has urged the next government to prioritise and support the ambitions of prospective homeowners, with the following three viable solutions able to help the next government support Britain’s ailing housing market.

Reintroducing MDR

“The abolition of Multiple Dwellings Relief (MDR) has generated yet another block for the UK’s property market to overcome, particularly for those purchasing multiple dwellings in a single transaction.

The change will incur higher stamp duty costs for buyers, calculated on the combined property value rather than the average, adding thousands to their expenses. Homes with annexes will now attract double the stamp duty, with property investors now having to purchase six or more units to reap the benefits of SDLT relief. By abolishing MDR, Jeremy Hunt has, therefore, restored a historical injustice in Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Furthermore, the already struggling construction industry will take another hit with the tax on developers increasing from 1-2% to 5%, leading to project abandonment and further increases in asking prices, as supply continues to lag behind an overwhelming demand for affordable housing.”

Reducing Local Sales Restrictions

“Reducing local sales restrictions will significantly bolster the UK’s housing sector by facilitating a more fluid and efficient property market. One key issue has been the rigidity and complexity of local planning systems, which often stymies the pace of new developments.

By easing these restrictions, local councils could accelerate the approval process thereby increasing the supply of homes. This would help address the chronic undersupply that has plagued the market, with annual completions falling short of the government’s 300,000 target. An increased supply would stabilise house prices, making homes more affordable for first-time buyers and those on lower incomes, ultimately contributing to a more balanced and equitable housing market.

“Moreover, developers would be incentivised to invest in areas previously considered unattractive due to bureaucratic hurdles. This would not only increase the overall housing stock but also stimulate economic growth in these regions.”

Reforming of Stamp Duty

“Whilst the promise from the Conservatives to raise the SDLT threshold for first-time buyers marks a positive step in the right direction, a radical overhaul is necessary to get the bottom end of the housing market moving in the long term. SDLT payment bands have never been index-linked to house price inflation so an increase to these thresholds for all homebuyers would stimulate activity at the lower end of the property market.  Raising the threshold would have the benefit of taking more properties outside the scope of stamp duty, cutting the cost of acquisition for people looking to climb up the property ladder.

“Those looking to purchase properties on the mid-to-high end of the property market would also have a chance to sell their low-end properties as a result of the increase in demand from prospective buyers, contributing to further momentum within the housing market.”

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