Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson led the Conservatives to a crushing victory over Labour in this week's general election

REACTION | Election result could buoy property market

Jessica Middleton-Pugh and Sarah Townsend

The outcome of the general election is likely to spur investment in the North West property market, as greater political certainty supports dealmaking even as the Brexit turmoil continues, according to property leaders in the region.

Chris Cheap, principal and managing director of UK regions at Avison Young, told Place North West: “Regardless of political views, we welcome the certainty that the election results brings and the hope that it will underpin investor confidence.

“2019 was largely a flat year for the investment market, which is undoubtedly the engine room of the wider property sector, and positive business-focussed leadership should ensure this is not repeated in 2020.”

Richard Laming, senior director at planning consultancy Turley, said: “Our hope is that the major infrastructure projects which were put on hold during the election are now unlocked with urgency.” Such stalled projects include the proposed HS2 rail link between London, Birmingham and the North.

Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson soared to victory in Thursday’s election, winning the biggest Tory majority at Westminster since 1987 with 364 seats over Labour’s 203. “The country has given us a stonking mandate,” Johnson said.

Fundamentals ‘remain buoyant’

Surprise gains were made for the Conservatives in the North West, despite being traditionally a Labour heartland. The Tories added 12 seats in the region.

Losses for Labour included Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s former seat in Leigh, as well as Warrington South, Bury South and North, Burnley, and Blackpool South.

Merseyside stayed staunchly Labour with no seats lost to the Tories. Long-time Birkenhead MP Frank Field, formerly Labour and now Independent, lost his seat to Labour candidate Mick Whitley.

NPR Network

Backing Northern Powerhouse Rail was a key infrastructure promise Johnson made in the election run-up

Turley’s Laming said the election results do not affect the fundamentals of the North West property market, “which remain buoyant”. However, the result is an opportunity to encourage greater investment and help implement regional economic development frameworks such Local Industrial Strategies, led by Mayoral Combined Authorities or Local Enterprise Partnerships, and free ports, he said.

“These could make a big difference and boost trade and industry in the region.”

Barry White, chief executive of Transport for the North, agreed: “The North has, quite rightly, been a key battleground in this election, with pledges made on improving our transport and creating opportunities.

“Now is the time to advance that Northern agenda in the national interest, and the Prime Minister must now deliver.”

Transport for the North has been “encouraged” by Conservative Party promises to fully commit to Northern Powerhouse Rail, and invest in the region’s strategic and local roads, White added. “That and tackling the challenge of making our networks greener and more inclusive will be critical in the coming months and years.

“There are big decisions ahead that will change the fabric of the North – not least how our railways are run and the delivery of HS2.”

Brexit resolution imminent

Johnny Caddick, director at Caddick Group, said: “This result and the political need to now fully support the North with world-class infrastructure will bolster confidence in regional economies, which will enable more capital to flow into housing.” The build-to-rent sector will continue to provide strong investment yields, he added.

Uncertainty over the UK’s departure from the European Union abounds, which could threaten the overall positive response to the election result. However, regardless of political leanings, some hope Johnson’s majority could enable a smoother exit from the union.

Jeremy Hinds, head of North planning at Savills, said: “I suspect I am at one with a prevailing view that Brexit will now resolve itself, and the country can focus on other matters, such as the very pressing need to build more homes. Uncertainty since 2016 will end, and the anticipation of that is already reflected in the stock and currency markets this morning.

“This is likely to lead to an increase in investor confidence, and Manchester will benefit from that.

“For the region, the PM will have to decide on HS2 and the transpennine link. The Prime Minister has been sceptical about HS2, but the desire to demolish the red wall probably means that he will want to retain votes. So I suspect the HS2 to Manchester will be given the go ahead.”

RIBA President Alan Jones said: “Many people will remember this as the ‘Brexit election’. The Conservatives must now deliver on their promise to resolve the political crisis which has been paralysing wider society and the economy.”

“We are adopting cautious optimism, as leaving the EU [planned for 31 January] is only the beginning of what has the potential to be a turbulent process,” added Avison Young’s Cheap.

“It will be interesting to see whether the new Government adopts a continued commitment to regional devolution, and to see whether it can build upon its new-found voter base in the north.

“Helping to drive whatever version of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ we are on and underpin this with the necessary infrastructure improvements will be a very good start to achieving this,” he said.

Your Comments

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This will not be good for Liverpool I fear.

By Liverpolitis

Buoy the property market; while acting as set of concrete boots for the rest of the well… just about everything.

So that’s good.

By BillyboyCauseDaveWasBanned

Stand-by for an investment boom – and a spike in materials and labour inflation.

As for Liverpool, @Liverpolitis, the city has to recognise that barking at the moon will not help it one bit. The Tories have the purse strings and will be willing to work with the city on a shared agenda of investment in infrastructure. Biting the hand that feeds will only denude the city of investment and jobs. Joe Anderson has understood this for a good few years and we need our new MPs to do likewise.

By Sceptical

Excellent news for everyone. Boris has energised the country and will bring us back together so we can all go on to a brighter and better future

By Boris Fan

Manchester to Sheffield and Manchester to Leeds rail route improvements would be a priority for me, much more so than HS2. The regional transport links are in dire need of investment and hopefully Johnson et al are now on the hook to deliver for this new swathe of voters.

By NC

This will be positive for liverpool, more open trade and international travel and connections will be good for our ports and industry, and could be massive for the airport

We just need our leaders to embrace change and innovation- cut taxes and regulation on business and get this region booming

By Stuart wood

We now have the most London focused PM in living memory which unfortunately will be bad news for anybody North of the M25.

By Anonymous

How can it be good for Liverpool? On top of the “stalled developments”, the chippy mini-mayor, and the proper mayor’s efforts diluted by all that, we’ve also got an kid for a “senior journalist” dominating the audible political discourse at large (and an editor who allows it), who persists in making sure there’s nothing in it but embarrassment on offer should the government ever single Liverpool out for anything good.

It got the Anglo-Irish summit moved to “North West England”, and will make sure anything else decent goes elsewhere too.

Will that matter to two people who aren’t even from Liverpool, and who will inevitably leave us to whatever mess they’ve profited from?

By Mike

Don’t underestimate Liverpool. We are an Atlantic port. Like it or not the country is gonna turn west as we trade more with America.

By Liverpolitan

My fears are based upon our past encounters with the current PM and his attiude towards Liverpool. We will always survive but I hope and pray to qoute the PM’s recent dialogue to reward areas that voted for him does not exclude other areas that did not.
Note to Sceptical it’s best not to put words into peoples mouths/minds that do not exist, thank you.

By Liverpolitis

Boris Johnson targets investment for political gain just look at the £27million allocated pre-election from the forgotten town fund to Cheadle in Stockport. By any stretch of the imagination Cheadle is not a forgotten town but it is a two way marginal. The new PM will invest in the North but I suspect he will want something in return.

By Anonymous

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/
posted 15.12.2019
/////////////
Boris Johnson plans radical overhaul of civil service to guarantee ‘people’s Brexit’
////
Boris –Now we free voter help put in in full power in Government you and all your local area Tory M.P.
MUST-DELIVER by end Jan 2020 us out of E.U. SIR
***** By Queens speech to protect our N.H.S. FUNDING FULLY UP TO -DATE
===== By new laws to increase the funding to the local area council that have a lot of poorer area within them not getting any help or funding now.
Remember all above you Boris + your Tory local area M.P. have promised us for our vote we delivered now you Boris + Tory Govt members must keep your words Boris.
Finally!
To Boris + my Tory M.P. Andrew Stephenson of Pendle area
Will FRACKING still be going ahead in 2020 -2021 timeframe
In our area of Lancashire/Pendle YES OR NO??

By Roy Jenkins

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/
posted 15.12.2019
Boris Johnson plans radical overhaul of civil service to guarantee ‘people’s Brexit’

UPDATE
SORRY–Forgot yes, I also voted to leave E.U. MESS
so, I do now expect Boris + Tory party to keep their word
and have us out on Jan 2020 –If not they could be hell to pay
with local area Tory M.P. if Boris mess u again on E.U. leaving
///
Remember Boris we have a right remove your local area Tory M.P. we voted for from their seat for not delivering their promises + that of your Boris for our votes by way of partition + by election we voter could start implementing any time.
The effects of this Boris loss of your local area Tory M.P
///.
WILL affect number in Parliament so you will not have full
control Boris (if we remove your local area Tory M.P)
(So do not fail us free voters any more please.)
That help you get to full power in Dec G.E. 2019 SIR.
Up -hold + keep your words to us votes please.
We will be watching you + your Tory Govt fully Boris.

By Roy Jenkins

@Liverpolitis, I understand your concerns around Boris, but every major city at its core is still Labour, Manchester, London, Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol, so it’s not like Liverpool alone. The city leaders need to be pragmatic and put the cities interests at the forefront of decisions and negotiations. As @Liverpolitan said, we have an already growing port facing the ever increasing prospect of US trade deals, and we as a country will need to make the best use of our assets. Here’s to hoping anyway…

By L17

This is excellent for Liverpool as Liverpool has a demanding exspanding Superport , back to the good old days , whether you like it or not this is a game changer for Liverpool and we are preparing and ready for it.

By Anonymous

Liverpolitis – what will we export to america? what will we import from america? this is all about services, insurances, tech etc. And we all know which city will benefit the most from that…I hope i’m wrong but it feels like the North has just signed their own death warrant. Devolution will be off the agenda, can’t see any of the big infrastructure projects taking place. Doubt BJ could have named which county Leigh was in before Friday. Really hope to be proven wrong.

By Loganberry

@L17, yes lets be positive, and trust that our local politicians engage with the new government rather than enrage. We need to be more savvy in these concerns…

By Liverpolitis

He needs to start with education. Too many young people in this country leaving school unemployable. As someone who interviews on a regular basis I am shocked at the levels of inarticulacy I encounter.

By Elephant

Boris needs to invest in Tory areas, if people want investment, vote Tory, if you vote Labour and not see any benefit serves you right

By Floyd

@Floyd, every major UK city getting nothing then no? Don’t talk silly.

By L17