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Boris Johnson needs to act on housing to hold on to his new voters

John Phillips

January 17, 2020

John Phillips Just Mortgages

John Phillips (pictured), national operations director, Just Mortgages

December’s General Election already seems a lifetime ago.

Regardless of what anyone might think about Boris Johnson or Brexit, the fact there is now a government with a stable majority in the House of Commons has changed the atmosphere.

The seemingly endless drama of knife-edge, ‘deal or no deal’ parliamentary votes has, for the time being anyway, been brought to an end.

And none too soon.

It feels as if we can all get on with our lives again now.

I suspect this applies as well to a lot of people who have been thinking about buying or moving home in the last couple of years, but have been put off by all the predictions of doom and gloom if the country ended up leaving the EU, with or without a deal.

Now at least everyone can move on.

That should mean some confidence returning to the property market over the first half of 2020, and that will be very welcome after treading water for the past few years.

What is needed to underpin that is a bit of stability and a clear sense of direction in housing policy.

The past 10 or 20 years seem to have been characterised by a succession of short-term initiatives designed to appeal to particular sections of the electorate, rather than any long-term strategy.

Some of these have been better than others but the net result is that half a lifetime after everyone started talking about an affordability crisis, we still have too few homes being built and young (and not so young) people struggling to raise a deposit.

Understandably, they are generally none too happy about this.

Some people seem to think this is a problem confined to the South East of England but while it is without doubt a very pressing concern in London and the surrounding area, it is an issue for many towns and cities across the country, including many of the newly Conservative voting seats in the Midlands and the North.

If Boris Johnson wants to keep his fragile coalition of voters together, he is going to have to show that his government is the one that is finally going to do something about this.


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