By Steve Taggart
The research, which polled 1,000 UK voters and analysed the housing policies of all five major parties, showed that 54% of 35-44 year olds felt that none of the party leaders understood their concerns on housing, compared to an average of 42% across the whole electorate.
David Cameron earns a personal approval rating on housing policy amongst this age group of just 13%, with Ed Miliband faring only slightly better on 16%. 41% of this age group believe that no party will improve the current UK housing situation, whoever is elected on 7th May – making them the most disenchanted age group of the UK electorate.
Only 17% of this age group felt that current Government policy was helping first-time buyers get on the property ladder, whilst 41% believe no party will be able to improve the situation for first-time buyers. 64% said they couldn’t see how they would benefit from the abolition of flat-rate stamp duty, introduced in December’s Autumn Statement with the aim of helping first-time buyers.
The joint research discovered that 39 years and 7 months is currently the worst age to try and move up the property ladder in the UK. Government schemes such as Help To Buy and this month’s announcement of 200,000 Starter Homes are aimed at first-time buyers under the age of 40.
This, coupled with April’s pension reforms, and George Osborne’s commitment to make it even easier for the over 55’s to access their pension, is expected to see house prices rise.
The future of the UK housing market
Professor Martin Smith, Professor of Politics at the University of York said of the research, “It is clear, that a great section of our population feel left behind in the Great British Property Debate of 2015. Initiatives such as Help to Buy and Starter Homes are predominantly aimed to help the under 40’s, so 39 years and seven months is pretty much the worst age to try and move up the property ladder in the UK, by the time you factor in the time to complete a transaction.
Professor Smith’s has made three predictions for trends he expects to see in UK housing market, following an analysis of all the main five parties policies.
His predictions are:
1. The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ goes from strength to strength
Ongoing pension reform and a reduction in inheritance tax is likely to see a continued rise in the number of parents helping their offspring get on the property ladder. We are also likely to see more complex models for property ownership as people become just as likely to buy and live with their friends, parents or even grandparents.
2. The beginning of the end of ‘buy-to-let’
This increase in multi-home ownership in one family will also reduce the number of ‘buy-to-let- transactions in the market. In addition, Labour’s plan to reduce building restrictions and introduce greater regulation on private landlords is likely to make ‘buy-to-let’ investments a less attractive proposition.
3. Boost to the English regions
Labour and the Liberal Democrats commitment to infrastructure projects like HS2 and plan to empower local authorities is likely to see affluence spread from London and the South East. An election that fails to deliver an outright Conservative majority is likely to see regional house prices boosted in the medium term.
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