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Written by Matthew Lane

Housing and healthcare are the two biggest worries for both tenants and first-time buyers in the lead up to May’s General Election, according to the latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from Your Move and Reeds Rains. 
 
Housing was a major concern for a large share of first-time buyers (17%). However, it was not their chief concern - 23% of first-time buyers said that healthcare was the issue that would be most likely to determine their vote. In spite of this, the vast majority of potential first-time buyers (78%) also said that the upcoming election has had no bearing on their decision to actually buy a home at this juncture.
 
With regards to tenants, housing is just as likely as healthcare to impact on how they will vote. Housing was revealed as the issue that would be most likely to affect the vote of one in six tenants (16%) at the General Election, with a further 16% naming healthcare as their primary concern. The jobs market, nominated by 11% of tenants, was the third most-quoted option, followed by education (6%) and infrastructure/transport (1%).
 
“Of all the troubles facing tenants, the struggle to get onto the housing ladder is their biggest concern – and it is most likely to affect how they may choose to vote in May,” Adam Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, commented. “We are in the grips of a housing crisis, with our population increasing at a faster rate than we are building new homes.”
 
He added: “In order to put a dent in this housing crisis we need to make some tangible changes in how we control construction. We should ease planning regulations to get rid of the layers of bureaucracy slowing the process, and we need to make it easier to regenerate brownfield sites. On top of that, we should support smaller construction firms hampered by the credit crunch, and encourage skilled construction workers to stay in the field. This is about making it quicker and easier to build, and making sure we have all the resources at the ready.”
 

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