General Election 2024: Opportunities for those who wish to take them

A week has now passed since Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed a general election will be held on Thursday, July 4.

The news has prompted plenty of discussion in the property sphere regarding availability, volume of transactions and opportunities plus the wider impact a change of Government could have on interest rates and inflation.

Historically, there are a number of key trends the property market tends to follow in the weeks building up to an election and once it has passed. We outline those trends and provide our thoughts on how Oxfordshire’s property market will respond in our latest blog.

Summer election

An expected general election has been a hot talking point this year, with much conversation hooked around when we should expect a fixed date to go to the polls.

Originally, it was suggested an election date was more likely to take place later in the year prompting feelings that the spring market could be quite buoyant. In reality, activity in recent months has been slightly below the levels we’d expect.

That’s through no lack of uncertainty or nervousness among buyers, though. Last month, a survey of 1,200 prime home movers by Savills confirmed 79 per cent (,to%20moving%20as%20a%20result.) wouldn’t alter their plans to move because of the predicted election.

Even with the smallest volume of uncertainty, opportunities will be there for the taking. It’s likely these opportunities will come to the fore in late summer and autumn, prompting a strong and healthy market to round-off the year amid renewed confidence.

Key trends

Resistance to change is a natural human response, and when disruption is at its least is when the property market tends to flourish.

But that’s not always the case. Recent events such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine simply couldn’t be accounted for, yet the property market in Oxfordshire remained strong throughout.

Due to the likelihood of ‘change’ following a general election, the property market tends to adopt two consistent behaviours including:

  • Pre transaction decrease: In six out of the last seven general elections, there has been a decrease in the number of property transactions in the weeks building up to polling day.
  • Post price climb: Since the 1980s, house prices have climbed by an average of 5.4% in the year that followed a general election.

We’d expect both trends to occur again in 2024, especially with experts predicting a Labour majority as the most likely outcome from July 4. It’s also worth considering confidence among buyers and sellers is boosted post-election owing to increased political certainty.


In the short-term, we’d expect the volume of transactions and opportunities on the open market to decrease.

While an element of uncertainty remains in the air, properties may be held back until the later weeks of Q3 and into Q4. Of course, some people will have no choice or the luxury of deciding if to wait for the election to pass before buying owing to personal circumstances.

For those people, opportunities will present themselves.

Looking further ahead, a market bounce in late summer and through the autumn is likely as pent-up demand is released and buyers who have resisted placing offers return to viewings.

Competition for properties at this point will be high, meaning the option to buy off-market presents the best route in avoiding bidding wars, chains which are likely to collapse and paying over the true value of the home you’re viewing.

Read more: The ultimate guide to buying properties off-market (

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