Our latest look at the UK property market ahead of the General Election studies historic house price data to ascertain which majority Government – Labour or the Conservatives, has had the biggest impact on house price growth per an annum during their tenures across all 650 parliamentary constituencies since 1970.
When the Conservative Government first took power in June 1970, the average UK house price was a mere £4,508. Nearly half a century later and today’s Tory Government sits in a very different landscape, with prices having increased by 4724.80% to the current average of £217,502.
But despite the Conservatives currently cultivating a housing crisis due to their inability to construct the required number of homes to meet buyer demand, historically they aren’t the best party for UK homeowners who want their bricks and mortar assets value to keep on climbing, this is, in fact, the Labour Party.
Average House Price Growth per Annum Since 1970
See which party is better for house price growth in your constituency by downloading the full data set below.
House Price Time Line – 1970 to 2017
Conservatives – 1970 to 1974
During the Conservative’s initial reign as the UK’s majority government led by Edward Heath, house prices increased by 120.23%, 30.06% for each of the four years which is the largest rate of growth per annum to date.
Labour – 1974 to 1979
Labour then presided over a slightly lower rate of price growth across a similar time period split between Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, with prices increasing 92.14% between 1974 and 1979, an increase of 18.43% per annum.
Conservatives – 1979 to 1997
A Conservative Government then followed for 18 consecutive years, first led by the Iron Lady who saw house prices increase 187.91% between 1979 and 1990, before John Major governed the next seven years pushing the total price increase under that Conservative Government up to 206.18% – the highest total increase since 1970 but an average of just 11.45% a year.
Labour – 1997 to 2010
Under the 21-year reign of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s Labour Government, the total increase in UK property prices hit 192.53%, an increase of 14.81% per annum.
Conservative – 2010 to Now
In the last seven years under a Conservative majority government, house prices have increased by just 27.31% as the has market slowed from the extreme rates of growth seen over the last three decades. That equates to an average price increase of just 3.90% per annum.
Highest and Lowest Growth Under Labour by Constituency
The constituencies to have seen the slowest rate of house price growth under Labour since 1970 are Airdrie and Shotts, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill and Motherwell and Wishaw. All three are located north of the border in Scotland and all three have seen price growth of just 13.56% under a Labour Government.
The highest growth constituency is North Down in Northern Ireland at 24.59%, with the top 10 highest constituencies for house price growth under a Labour Government all located in Northern Ireland.
Highest and Lowest Growth Under the Conservatives by Constituency
The constituency to have seen the lowest house price growth per annum under a Tory Government is Pendle in the North West – up just 8.39%. Since 1970, the top 10 lowest constituencies for house price growth per an annum under a majority Conservative Government are all located in the North East or North West.
Rather predictably, the constituency to have enjoyed the largest yearly rate of house price growth under a Conservative Government is Kensington at 33.87%. Where the highest rate of price growth is concerned, staggeringly the top 125 constituencies are all located in London, the South East or East of England.
This research really isn’t trying to highlight that one party is better than the other, but more which party is better for the UK populace, depending on their current residential situation.
All the major parties have attempted to address housing in the run-up to next month’s election, but have outlined very little other than the usual empty promises on building and which, let’s face it, has historically ensured a rapidly rising rate of house price growth in itself. One wonders whether successive governments have purposely sought to strangle housing supply to encourage value growth and therefore a tail wind of voter enthusiasm for their particular political colour at successive elections?
Therefore, we thought it important that both buyer and seller alike, have something else to base their decision to vote on, that was at least based on fact, albeit historical evidence.
If you are in the privileged decision of owning a home in the UK, Labour is the party to ensure your bricks and mortar assets continue to appreciate. If you are a struggling aspirational buyer, then on the face of it the Conservatives are marginally better where a lower rate of price growth is concerned and to better enable you a foothold on the property ladder.
Of course, the UK picture will vary drastically when considering individual constituencies, so we would suggest looking at the wider data set to see how the two differ in house price performance for your local area.Russell Quirk