How does a general election affect the housing market?

House transactions tend to ease off in the build up to a general election, as buyers and sellers wait to see the outcome before making a decision.

Spring also tends to be a busy period for the UK housing market, with sales climbing from February through to June.
The table below shows the number of property transactions that took place in the UK between 2009 – 2016. Election years are highlighted in red (according the Land Registry data).

 

 FebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
200933,21843,30847,26354,18562,613
201049,01659,71561,35260,89272,734
201145,80754,48959,19457,43667,035
201252,21971,57152,18161,89670,666
201354,21666,11962,58580,06780,094
201479,86884,02888,33297,353100,789
201572,05683,11481,00692,437103,794
201679,466134,364*58,86364,31574,096

*March 2016 transactions were affected by the changes in stamp duty for buy-to-let investors/second home owners

The data shows that transaction levels slumped just before the 2010 election on 8 June and 2015 election on May 7.

While the run up to an election often has some effect on how many houses are sold, it is not usually particularly significant as can be seen by the transactions recovering to the expected level in June 2015.
 

What will happen to property prices?

As the table below shows, it is unlikely that property prices will be affected. As can be seen ahead of the election in 2015, average property prices in the UK increased steadily in line with 2014 and 2016 levels.

 

 FebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
2014£178,921£179,537£183,532£185,476£187,077
2015£190,827£191,537£193,225£195,313£196,802
2016£205,584£207,333£208,705£212,191£215,182