More British homeowners trust the Conservatives more than Labour to fix the country’s ‘broken’ housing market, according to a new poll.
With successive governments failing to build enough housing - particularly social housing - the UK is in the grip of a worsening crisis, with homelessness on the rise, and while most people surveyed by Property Price Advice preferred Labour’s housing proposals, the majority of respondents believe that the Tories will do a better job of managing the housing sector than Labour.
The UK property price information platform found that the Tories are trusted by almost half of voters (46%) to preside over the property market and solve the housing problem, compared with 40.7% for Labour and 13.3% for the Liberal Democrats.
Support for the Conservatives comes even though the majority of respondents (55.2%) stated that the existing Tory government, along with the Conservative-led coalition with the Liberal Democrats (2010-15), had not done as much to help people buy their own home, compared with the previous Labour administration (1997-2010).
The finding is a major setback for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party and will ease the jitters in the Tory camp after Labour recently closed the gap in the opinion polls.
Peter Sherrard, managing director at Property Price Advice, said: “Despite the Conservative Party’s pledge to deliver one million new homes by 2020, or 1.5 million by 2022, the party has shown very little evidence of achieving anywhere near those numbers which may explain why less than one in five [18%] of those polled believe that the next government, whichever party it is, will achieve its housebuilding target, which would exacerbate the housing shortage.”
Almost three out of four of those surveyed (73.7%) predict that property prices will rise during the time of the next parliament (2017-2022), with capital growth likely to be higher under a Conservative government, as opposed to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
The expectation is that house prices are set to increase the most in London during the next parliament, with 11.8% of those living in the capital expecting prices to rise by more than 20%, followed by growth in the South East, South West and the East of England.
More than two-thirds (69.1%) said that the housing policies proposed by the main parties would have no impact on which party they vote for, while half (50.5%) believe that choosing a prime minister to lead the Brexit negotiations with the EU is the primary reason for voting at the general election.
Despite Tory fears of a backlash against the prime minister’s plans to reform social care funding, end winter fuel allowances for better-off pensioners and scrap the “triple lock” under which the state pension rises by at least 2.5% a year, the research suggests that voters are likely to return Theresa May’s party to government, with Property Price Advice’s poll having the Tory lead at 20 points over Labour.
Almost half - 49.2% - of people polled said they intended to vote for the Conservative party, with Labour a distant second on 29.1%, followed by the Liberal Democrats (9.6%), UKIP (3%) and Greens (2.5%).
Sherrard added: “We’ve seen Labour narrow the gap on the Tories since engaging younger voters with proposals including the abolishment of university tuition fees and raising the minimum wage.”
“However, it’s clear that regardless of their shaky track record, British homeowners will be backing Theresa May’s party to win on the 8th of June.”