What the election means for the Surrey property market

Gareth Davies by Gareth Davies | 06 Jun 2024

election means for the surrey property market

What the election means for the Surrey property market

It’s official. The UK finally has a date for the general election. But what does this mean for Surrey homeowners in the lead up to the election and after 4 July? Gareth Davies, Managing Director at Davies Property Partners, explains.

I’ve been with Davies Property Partners since 2004, when I joined my family business. In the intervening years, I’ve seen five general elections – all of which have had the same effect on the property market.

Firstly, there’s a degree of nervousness once the election date has been announced; many people tend to refrain from making big decisions. Whether that’s buying a new car or buying a property, there’s a tendency for people to sit and wait until a political decision has been made.

Then, once it has been made – and irrespective of which party is voted in – there’s an influx of enquires from sellers and buyers, all of whom are desperate to make the move they’ve put on ice during the inevitable pre-election hiatus.

The good news with the upcoming election is that the period between it being called and voting day itself is short. Often, the build-up is much longer, which provides more time for people to feel uncertain. With a window of only six weeks, the waiting game is relatively short.

Maybe this pre-election hesitancy is justified in some areas. However, when it comes to buying and selling a property, we would advise against it. Here’s why.

Time waits for no one

If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt from a general election, it’s that life moves on – and very quickly, too.

Once the result is in, people quickly pick up from where they left of, only with a little more urgency than before. Sellers want to place their property on the market immediately, and the pool of buyers doubles overnight.

On that basis, those who continue to use the next six weeks to get ready for a sale – whether that’s instructing an agent, finalising their property’s details or even launching their property to the market – will be in good shape from 5 July onwards.

And let’s face it, Rishi Sunak’s decision to call an election doesn’t really change things at this stage. After all, the polls have pointed towards an incoming Labour government for months now.

And that brings me to my next point.

Red or blue

Come the morning of Friday 5 July, we’ll know which party will form government for the following five years.

As it stands, polls suggest that Labour could be victorious. And, as Elmbridge is predominantly made up of Conservative voters, this may cause a degree of concern.

However, the borough of Elmbridge is an incredibly – and increasingly – desirable area in which to live. So much so, in fact, that some of our high-net-worth clients, who, after considering a move overseas in the event of a Labour government, have returned. Our pocket of England is, after all, very special.

And let’s not forget that by the time Tony Blair had been Prime Minister for eight years, property prices had increased by 125 per cent.

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Whether or not there will be a change in UK government remains to be seen. Our view, however, is that it shouldn’t be anything to fear – and it certainly shouldn’t deter people from moving forward with their life planning.

In fact, the only thing that our clients should be concerned about is missing out on the demand for Elmbridge properties that will undoubtedly unfold once the UK has decided on a government.

And the only way to do that is – to use a term coined during a Conservative government of 1939 – keep calm, and carry on.

Looking for a pre-election property partner? If so, contact your local Davies Property Partners office to arrange a valuation of your property.

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