Which political party is best for house prices?

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There are plenty of reasons for deciding where to place your X in the General Election on Thursday, but if house prices are one of them, eMoov has crunched some numbers as to which Government has been best for house price growth.

The online agent looked at price growth across all of the 650 parliamentary constituencies since 1970 to highlight which party is best for your vote depending on whether you’re a home owner or aspiring buyer.

Labour governments tend to come out on top, according to the research, with the largest annual growth while in power at 16.62%, compared with 15.14% when the Tories have been in charge.

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 when you look at each period in power, using Nationwide house price data from 1970 to 1997 and Land Registry figures thereafter, the results are very different, according to the eMoov research.

Conservatives – 1970 to 1974
During the Conservatives’ 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 year 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% a year.

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 was PM for 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% each year.

Conservatives – 2010 to now
In the past seven years under a Conservative majority government, house prices have increased by 27.31%.

That equates to an average price increase of just 3.90% per year.

The constituencies to have seen the slowest rate of house price growth under Labour since 1970 are Airdrie & Shotts, Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill and Motherwell & Wishaw. All have seen price growth of just 13.56% under a Labour Government.

The highest growth constituency under Labour 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.

Meanwhile, the constituency to have seen the lowest house price growth per year under a Tory Government is Pendle in the North-West – up just 8.39%. Since 1970, the top 10 lowest constituencies for annual house price growth 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, the top 125 constituencies are all located in London, the South-East or East of England.

Russell Quirk, founder of eMoov, said: “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 to get 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.”

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