General Election 2017: which party will be best for house prices and fixing the housing crisis?

6 June 2017

Whether you’re keeping a watchful eye on whether house prices will continue to rise or you’re worried that not enough houses are being built, with all the political rhetoric it’s hard to know which major party will serve your best interests.

House prices

Analysis by eMoov of historic price data since June 1970 reveals that the average UK house price was £4,508 and has risen by 4724,80% to the current average of 217,502. Here’s a lowdown on house price growth under successive governments:

  • 1970 to 1974: Under a Conservative government led by Edward Heath, house prices went up by 120.23% – up by 30.06% a year.
  •  1974 to 1979: A Labour government under Harold Wilson and then James Callaghan saw prices rise by 92.14% between 1974 and 1979, or 18.43% a year.
  • 1979 to 1997: Conservatives led by Margaret Thatcher between 1979 and 1990, and then John Major, saw house prices rise by 206.18% over 18 years – averaging out at 11.45% a year.
  • 1979 to 2010: With a Labour government under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown, property prices increased by 192.53%, or 14.81% annually.
  •  2010 to 2017: Under the Conservatives, house prices have increased by 27.31% over this period, averaging out at just 3.90% a year. 

The research concludes that under Labour house prices have risen by 16.62% a year, while under the Conservatives prices went up by a more modest 15.14%, so if you’re a homeowner wanting to see your property rise in value, Labour’s record will impress you more, while if you’re trying to get on the property ladder, lower house price hikes under the Conservatives will be more helpful.

Fixing the housing crisis

One thing everyone can agree on is the need to tackle the UK’s housing crisis by building more homes, but which party is promising to do more?

The average rate of house building over the past 10 years in England has been 166,000 homes a year, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

The Conservatives have pledged to build one million homes by the end of 2020 – or 175,000 homes a year. This means that there will be only 9,000 more new homes annually than were being built 10 years ago in England,

Meanwhile, Labour has pledged to build a million homes between the new Parliament and the end of 2022, which will mean 200,000 homes a year. Over the10-year average rate of house building in England, that equates to an extra 34,000 homes each year.

However, the Conservatives have pledged to build 500,000 more homes in 2021 and 2022, so this will result in an extra 334,000 homes during this period.

Affordable housing

Labour has announced that it will offer 100,000 new homes at a discount to first-time buyers if it wins the election. The FirstBuy scheme will see asking prices of these homes capped in line with local wages so that mortgage payments don’t exceed a third of average household incomes.

It also promises a two-year stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers and that Help to Buy funding will also be guaranteed until 2027.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, have said that local councils and housing associations will be give greater powers to build new council homes and that some of them will be available for sale within 10 to 15 years under Right to Buy.

They also plan to reform Compulsory Purchase Orders so that councils have better access to land to be built on.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

@ EducatedLeftBehindYou are too young to remember what the last far left government did to the uk, they made lots of similar promises to those that Mr Corbyn is now making & in their efforts to keep those promises they just about bankrupted the country & we are still trying to pay off the debts. I don't expect you to agree with me just now, but in 40 years time (I won't be around), remember this. I also would love to have all the things they are promising as I am a none tax paying pensioner so have to watch my pennies but I also know that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Inflation figures are a joke. The thing that proved it was when they put Digital Camera memory cards into the inflation basket. Just eleven years ago a 1GByte card cost me £100.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

So average house prices have increased by nearly 50-fold over the past 47 years? What about inflation and average wages? Have they gone up proportionately? I suspect that wages have not increased nearly as much but household incomes may have (because so many more mothers with young children are working) to allow people to afford the house prices. Would be interested to see these statistics.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Bad arithmetic in some of the above

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

are these historic price increases inclusive of inflation? as per investments past performance is no guarantee for future

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Haha Moneywise have you started a satire column? Suggesting that struggling young people would be better off voting tory based on speculation that they may expect a 1% less on house price inflation is embarrassing. The Labour Party will be the best thing that ever happened to any young single people in the south east, currently being exploited by buy-to-let landlords. I am one of many people that I know in their 30s who is voting Labour on the 8th for this very reason. I will be proud to cast a vote for a the prospect of a genuine leftwing government - something that I have not seen my entire lifetime. Vote Labour. FOR THE MANY. NOT THE FEW.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

aren't rising house prices just fool's gold, after all your home may be worth more on paper, but you only make a gain (or lose ) when you sell, then if you are going to buy another home that will have increased (or lost) value as well.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Notice how Conservative Party you'll be able to buy them well into parliament after next. Their idea of affordable is also way above anything most people on real average income - around £14000 a year can afford.

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