What would a Starmer Labour Government mean for housing and mortgages?

What would a Starmer Labour Government mean for housing and mortgages?
Home Blog What Would A Starmer Labour Government Mean For Housing And Mortgages?
George Sweeney

Author: George Sweeney

Content Writer

Updated: May 14, 2024

As the UK heads towards an election, questions arise about the future of housing and mortgages under a possible Labour government led by Keir Starmer.

Amidst growing concerns over affordability and access to housing, Labour’s proposals aim to address the pressing needs of first-time buyers and the broader housing market, setting a distinct course from the current Conservative government’s policies.

This article examines what housing and mortgage policies Starmer’s Labour might enact if they win power, exploring the proposed policies, their potential impacts on the market, and how they compare to the Conservative’s current approach.

With housing affordability at the forefront of many voters’ minds, understanding the implications of these changes is crucial for homeowners, buyers, and the market as a whole.

What will Labour do about housing?

With house prices seemingly on a never-ending treadmill reaching higher and higher, support for first-time buyers (FTBs) is becoming a point of contention for both parties.

The policy plans from Labour right now are to follow through on three major areas:

  • Make rent prices more affordable.
  • Give first-time buyers an exclusive 6-month opportunity to buy new build properties.
  • Restrict developers from selling more than 50% of properties to buyers from abroad.

The idea behind this three-pronged approach is:

  1. Make sure that first-time buyers aren’t paying through the nose for rent, allowing them to save up for a deposit to buy a house.
  2. Granting a window of dedicated time so that first-time buyers for new builds can purchase properties without having to fend off competition from potentially more attractive buyers based at home (or internationally) who have deeper pockets.

Plans for eco homes

Labour’s housing agenda doesn’t stop with first-time buyers. There have been previous statements made by the Party that it will attempt to make homes more climate-friendly over the coming decade.

Here’s how they plan on tackling housing-related climate issues:

  • Spending £6bn over 10 years, retrofitting homes to a minimum standard of EPC band C.
  • Offering grants to low-income households and giving other households the option to use low-interest loans.
  • Previous estimates (before price cap increases) were that this would save households a minimum of £400 a year on energy bills.

How does this differ from Conservative home mortgage plans?

Here’s how the Conservative housing policy manifesto stacks up. And, what they’re promoting as solutions to problems surrounding mortgages and UK housing:

  • Renewing the Affordable Homes Programme (but with no specific targets).
  • Investing £3.6bn with the Towns Fund to regenerate 100 locations across the UK.
  • Increasing the supply of rental properties and providing more protection for tenants.

The pledges are somewhat vaguer than what’s being offered by the Labour Party. But perhaps this is a case of the Conservative Party choosing not to promise outcomes they’re not sure they can deliver or can be afforded by the government.

What could happen with UK mortgages and housing after a general election

Both Parties seem keen on the idea of increasing the housing supply. To make homes more affordable and to potentially reduce rents.

However, it does seem like the Conservative Party is willing to flirt with more ‘outside-the-box’ ideas, such as 40 and 50-year mortgages.

Boris Johnson may be gone, but his words of wanting to ‘find all sorts of creative ways to help people into ownership’ are likely to be taken on by whomever he passes the torch to.

Only time will tell if either Party follows through on their promises to solve the housing and mortgage issues we’re facing here in the UK. And, what the state of these markets might look like following a general election.

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