Housing to be election battleground

Housing policy looks set to be a determining factor in September’s election, according to a new Property Institute commissioned poll.

Wednesday, June 7th 2017, 12:00AM

by Miriam Bell

The recently conducted poll showed that housing policy was a key electoral issue for a majority of the 1,000 voters surveyed.

For 8% housing will determine their vote, while 29% considered the issue to be “very important” and for another 29% it was “important”.

Just 32% said that housing was not an issue.

Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church said the results prove that housing policy could be a “vote clincher” in the election, with nearly one in 10 (8%) saying it will decide their vote.

The poll demonstrates why political parties are investing so much time and effort into packaging up their housing policies ahead of the election, he said.

“Political parties are acutely aware that solving the housing crisis is the main battleground on which the election will be fought – and they’re all vying to present themselves as having the definitive answer.”

While a high proportion of voters overall identified housing as the defining issue on which they will cast their vote, it was more important for those with allegiances to the Left.

Housing policy will determine the vote for 12% of Labour voters and 10% of Green voters, the poll showed.

When it came to undecided voters, 33% identified housing policy as “very important” and 5% said it would determine their vote.

Church said this suggests that there are a large number of voters who can be swayed based on what Parties come out with between now and the Election.

But voters should be cautious about accepting quick fix promises made by political parties given the housing market is struggling with problems that have been decades in the making, he said.

“There have been some worthwhile policy ideas released, but no party has yet proposed a policy that will fix the supply issue.

“Solving the supply shortage requires massive involvement by the private sector – and the policies I’ve seen to date either don’t acknowledge this need, or propose ideas that will actually make the problem worse.

“Getting people building houses is the Holy Grail solution and no party has yet come close to anything which will achieve it”.

Read more:

Election 2017 – what investors need to know 

Investors: Labour policy would increase rents 

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