The Queen, 93, gave her Speech at the State Opening of Parliament today, just days after Boris Johnson led the Conservative Party to victory in the General Election. Her Majesty spoke on many issues – and housing was not left out.
In a boost to the UK property market, first-time buyers will be offered a discount on purchases.
The Queen outlined: “My government will take steps to support home ownership, including by making homes available at a discount for local first-time buyers.”
Safety was also at the forefront of the Speech, with the Queen saying: “New measures will be brought forward to protect tenants and to improve building safety.
“My ministers will develop legislation to improve internet safety for all.”
Queen’s Speech: First-time-buyers have been given a boost in today’s speech
Reacting to the news, Jeremy Raj, national head of Residential Property at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The commitment to improving building safety post-Grenfell must be backed up with swift action and real money, otherwise the disappointing reaction to date will simply continue.
“The renewal of the commitment to promoting home ownership flies in the face of prevailing trends in the way people live and work, and the ideology should not overtake the reality that we simply need more confidence, more properties and a less cumbersome and expensive moving experience for the average homeowner to help get the market moving again.
“The intentions behind discounts for local first time buyers are laudable, however the danger is that in practice, a lot of time, energy and resource will be spent creating complex new rules in an already complex system.
“It’s interesting that in such a packed list, there was no mention of greater house building targets or the additional three percent surcharge on foreign buyers owning properties in the UK, or indeed social housing, all of which would make a real impact on the UK housing crisis.”
The home ownership measures were not the only ones revealed by the Queen today. The Living Wage and National Insurance threshold are also set to rise, as well as policies on social care.
During the speech, the Queen said: “My ministers will seek cross-party consensus on proposals for long-term reform of social care.
“They will ensure that the social care system provides everyone with the dignity and security they deserve, and that no-one who needs care has to sell their home to pay for it.”
She added: “My government will bring forward measures to support working families, raising the National Insurance threshold and increasing the National Living Wage.
“To ensure every child has access to a high quality education, my ministers will increase levels of funding per pupil in every school.
“Measures will be brought forward to encourage flexible working, to introduce the entitlement to leave for unpaid carers and to help people save for later life.”
Boris Johnson’s recent General Election win was met with cautious optimism by the property industry.
Property search portal Rightmove predicts that the average asking price of property coming to the market in the new year will increase by two percent.
A combination of an ongoing lack of available homes for sale, coupled with increased business and consumer confidence in the economy, due to a Conservative government, are likely to be the main factors.
Rightmove director Miles Shipside commented: “The greater certainty afforded by a majority government gives an opportunity for a more active spring moving season, with some release of several years of pent-up demand.
“Given the Brexit track record to date, further political twists and turns should not be ruled out, though with a large majority there is a higher possibility of an end to the series of Brexit deadlines, and the prospect of an orderly resolution.”
Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at estate agents Knight Frank said: “This will, for the time being, end the uncertainty of a no-deal Brexit and pave the way for the release of some of the pent-up demand that has built in property markets in recent years.
“The extent to which this translates into transaction activity in the short-term will depend on the size of the pricing expectation gap between buyers and sellers.”
Liam continued: “Supply is likely to rise as political uncertainty recedes and private and public spending stimulate the UK economy.
“This will put downwards pressure on prices, however, as some vendors may expect a bounce in prices, which may create a stand-off between buyers and sellers as the market re-prices. Uncertainty over future tax changes in the Budget, which is scheduled to take place in February, may prompt some to accelerate plans in coming weeks.”