Thursday, 7 May 2015

How has your vote affected house prices over the years?

In the run up to today’s election, I’ve been reading various sources about how house price growth has varied during each of the former Prime Minister’s terms.

It won’t surprise many of you that Tony Blair resided over the biggest ‘boom’ in house prices of any British Prime Minister since data began in 1955. Under his premiership from 1997 to 2007, average U.K property prices increased 211.3%.

At 21.1% per annum this, however, wasn’t the greatest annualised increase. That accolade is held by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, who saw property prices increase 32.8% a year (totalling 123%) during his time in office from 1970 to 1974.

Another fact unlikely to shock you is that Gordon Brown is the only Prime Minister to have seen house prices decrease during their time in the hot seat. During his premiership between 2007 and 2010 house prices dropped by 7.2% (I was actually surprised it wasn’t worse than this, remembering the headlines from the ‘credit crunch’).

Since then, the coalition government has overseen an average increase in house prices of 11.8% nationally.

One report, however, demonstrated how drastically property prices in London have outperformed in this time. When David Cameron came to power in 2010, his new home (10 Downing Street) was worth £4,574,831. It has since leapt 38% in value, now being worth £6,312,292, according to Zoopla.

One generally accepted reason for the U.K’s continual rise in house prices is that we aren’t building enough new homes. Research from Knight Frank showed how housebuilding has been on a continual downtrend ever since the Seventies. This has culminated in David Cameron overseeing the lowest number of new houses built per year of any Prime Minister’s term.

With 80% of people thinking there is a “housing crisis” in the country, the urgent need for more housebuilding has become a political hot potato of this election, with housing becoming a core focus of all the parties’ manifestos. 

History suggests, however, that there’s actually little to choose between house price growth depending on which party is in power. My calculations suggest the prolonged increases from Tony Blair’s time in power has given a slight edge to Labour, with an average increase of 13.5% for each of the 24 years they’ve been in power, compared to an average increase of 10.8% for each of the Conservative party’s 36 years.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with how the election result could affect Chichester’s property market, you can sign up for my weekly ‘Chichester Property News’ via the CRJ Lettings website.

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 7th May 2015) 
Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings Chichester,


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