90% of developers think Labour government will benefit the overall housing market

90% of developers think Labour government will benefit the overall housing market

Property developers seem to favour a Labour government, with 90% indicating they believe it would benefit the overall housing sector, according to a new study by Shawbrook.

The majority of developers (86%) are urging the next government to do more to support first-time buyers.

Last week, prime minister Rishi Sunak announced that the next general election had been set for 4th July, sparking debate within the property market on how parties will address affordability challenges and the ongoing undersupply of housing.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has detailed the party’s ‘first steps for change’, which include delivering economic stability and cutting NHS waiting times, in addition to plans to build 1.5 million new homes on brownfield land and within the ‘grey belt’ during the first five years of a Labour government.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives’ priorities include halving inflation, growing the economy, and reducing debt.

Shawbrook’s survey of over 500 property developers across England, Wales, and Scotland suggested that while the majority are in favour of a Labour government, only 9% of developers think the party will specifically help first-time buyers.

When asked for changes they would like to see from a new government, 35% of developers want easier planning permission processes, while a similar number (32%) want new schemes to help first-time buyers. 

Some 31% are calling for more support for innovative construction methods, such as modular construction, and 30% are advocating for stamp duty holidays.

“The upcoming election has the potential to breathe more life into the construction and property development sector, especially as housebuilding numbers have reduced in recent years,” said Terry Woodley, managing director of development finance at Shawbrook.

“Challenges surrounding a lack of support for first-time buyers, as well as a failure to streamline the planning process, have led to waning activity levels, and subsequently have caused developers to call on the government to deliver supporting legislation.

“As such, it’s no surprise that our research results had strong numbers advocating for development in reforms such as alternative schemes to help-to-buy, modular construction, and abolishment of stamp duty for first-time buyers.”

Developers also want the next government to introduce:

  • public-private partnerships (30%)
  • the removal of planning red tape to incentivise developers (30%)
  • the scrapping of stamp duty for all first-time buyers (29%)
  • low-deposit mortgages (27%)
  • a successor to help-to-buy (25%)

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