British Queen celebrates


Housing has emerged as a critical battleground in the current election campaign, with Labour and the Conservatives trading accusations over their respective

housing proposals.

The Conservatives have highlighted their pledge to permanently eliminate stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing properties valued up to £425,000, a measure initially raised temporarily until next April. They argue that failing to match their plan would saddle first-time buyers under Labour with potential tax bills reaching up to £11,250.

Michael Gove, the outgoing Housing Secretary, emphasized the Conservative's commitment to facilitating home ownership, criticizing Labour for proposing what he described as a substantial stamp duty increase from next year onwards.

In response, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer defended his party's position, citing a fully costed plan outlined in the Budget concerning stamp duty. He criticized the Conservative proposal as another unfunded commitment, which Labour would not endorse.

Analysts noted that stamp duty primarily affects those purchasing larger or more expensive homes, with potential savings not benefiting all buyers equally, especially considering that the average house price for first-time buyers in Britain was £236,000 in April 2024, exempting them from stamp duty.

Meanwhile, Labour has focused on protecting renters, promising swift action such as banning no-fault evictions immediately and requiring all landlords to upgrade rental homes to Energy Performance Certificate rating C by 2030. They argue these measures would save the average tenant £250 annually.

The parties' housing policies diverge on several fronts: while the Conservatives prioritize building homes, particularly on brownfield sites, and extending the stamp duty waiver, Labour advocates for planning rule reforms and tenant rights enhancements.

Other parties have also outlined their housing agendas, including the Liberal Democrats supporting additional social housing and the Green Party emphasizing environmental standards and rent controls.

As the election approaches, housing policies remain a pivotal issue influencing voters' choices across the political spectrum.