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This is a time of year when many people in the UK wish to sell a house quick, but with a general election now just a few months away, they may also be hesitating to make their move. But if you're one of them, there's plenty of reason not to hesitate - not least a recently-released analysis of data from over the last three decades that suggests elections have a minimal effect on the country's property market.

A report from a firm specialising in commercial property and real estate services advice suggests that the economy has a much greater influence on UK property market activity than elections. The findings largely focussed on the London commercial property market, but also covered the national residential sector, which the report claimed experienced no discernible negative impact in the three months either side of a UK election, whether in terms of house prices or the mortgage market.

May 2010's house prices, for example, were higher than April's and lower than June's, suggesting them to be merely part of a broader growth trend. Such findings contradict the conventional wisdom that property markets become sluggish in the run-up to a general election, suggesting in turn that the especially uncertain poll day to come this May should have no effect on a British homeowner's decision on whether to sell their house quick.

Indeed, the data indicates that the UK property market traditionally shows a high level of resilience in the run-up to an election, with little observable change in overall market behaviour. The exception may be in the event of the proposition of a detailed policy, and sure enough, both Labour and Liberal Democrats have announced that they intend to impose a mansion tax on residential properties with a value exceeding £2 million.

However, while this may cause some slowdown in the prime residential sector in the months prior to this year's polling day, there is unlikely to be any profound impact on the wider UK market, given that only 2 per cent of sales are worth more than £2 million. This conclusion is further supported by the typically very general nature of other Party manifesto policies on property, as well as the long time that it takes for even more specific policies to be implemented.

If there is any time for a UK property owner to sell their house quick, therefore, that time may very much be now - and there can be few better cash house buyers to sell one's abode to than the highly reputable Open Property Group.

Published on 5th February 2015

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