What now for housing and construction

Stakeholder CommunicationsFor the construction industry generally, it’s good news and bad news. Sterling’s value shot up instantly as The City anticipated a stronger Tory win which could pave the way for a softer Brexit deal. Building projects in the pipeline and the housing market are expected to continue relatively unaffected by the election for the time being.

Housing White Paper

But the election kicks the Housing White Paper, launched two months ago and currently out to consultation, into the very long grass.

It could emerge as part of the Conservative manifesto, which is expected to be more likely to champion protection of green belt land. Thus, it will silence previous calls for more housing development there and appease Conservative members in Home Counties.

Many local plans were moving towards submission and adoption pressured by impending deadlines, but the Government has already said that it won’t enforce them ahead of the defining of the universal calculation of housing need and the housing delivery. With the Housing Bill the instrument for their introduction being delayed due to the General Election, this means some local plans will be suspended for the time being. There will be no motivation for councils to push ahead with these, apart from those with five-year land supply issues

Stock market fall

The last snap election in 1974 didn’t impact the stock market, but day of the announcement the FTSE 100 experienced its worst fall in Britain’s biggest companies since the Brexit verdict, as £46bn was wiped off their value.

Post-election strategy

Having just got on top of the new government following Theresa May’s appointment last summer, the construction industry is again in limbo and cannot plan a strategy for post-election until it knows who the key players will be.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell and his Parliamentary Private Secretary Rebecca Pow will both be fighting for their political survival in key Liberal Democrat target seats of Croydon Central and Taunton Deane.

It means there is nothing that anyone can do until we know the verdict but sit back and watch the fireworks.