The Prime Minister’s resignation, a high-profile sacking and a raft of new appointments have given the ruling Conservative party a brand new look.
New faces in the Government’s housing departments come at a critical time for the property industry, with a number of new rules, regulations and laws waiting to come into force. The sacking of Michael Gove was the start of a completely different MP line-up, with the outgoing Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) replaced by Greg Clark.
In addition, Marcus Jones has been installed as the new Housing Minister after the resignation of Stuart Andrew, while Lord Greenhalgh, the representative responsible for overseeing the DLUHC’s business in the House of Lords, also handed in his notice.
While the ministerial changes are part of a wider bid to freshen up the Conservative party ahead of a possible snap general election, there could be imminent changes to the way we buy, sell, rent and invest in property as a result. Here are four watchpoints for the property market:-
- The Renters’ Reform Bill may be delayed: the property industry is rumbling with rumours of a delay to the much-hyped Renters’ Reform Bill. With Gove, the initiative’s creator, now out of the picture and Parliament’s summer recess pending, any new laws and regulations may be reconsidered or implemented at a later date. We’ll monitor the situation and relay any updates as soon as they happen.
- Cladding is Greg Clark’s priority: in his first media address since his appointment as the DLUHC head, Clark confirmed expediting a solution to the UK’s cladding crisis was the top of his agenda. He has given major housebuilders a four-week deadline to sign up to remediation work contracts, giving hope to property owners whose cladding has been deemed unsafe. Where other new property laws sit on his agenda remains to be seen.
- Uncertainty over part II of leasehold reforms: while part one of the Government’s leasehold reforms are in place – with newly-created leases now free of ground rent – doubt has been cast over how quickly part two will come into effect. While Lord Greenhalgh reconfirmed that reforms to make it cheaper and easier for existing leases to be extended to 990 years with zero ground rent would happen, his exit puts a question mark on how quickly phase two of the reforms will be introduced.
- The number of new homes built should rise: there is good news for fans of new build homes – and for all home movers who’d like to see a more fluid property market with more stock. Clark has declared a resetting of the Government’s relationship with housebuilders so they are more free to build more properties. Encouragingly, conversations with the House Builders’ Federation are already underway.
For now, the property market continues as normal. Please contact us if you are ready to sell or let your property.
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