Your home is worth more if you vote Tory!
Your home is worth £89,000 more if you choose to vote Tory over Labour.
It’s been a funny old election campaign so far. I had to pinch myself over the weekend when I saw the front page of a Sunday newspaper with the headline “Clegg almost as popular as Churchill”. After a bit of a false start, things are now moving apace.
The way you decide to cast your vote can come down to all sorts of factors. Perhaps you were brought up in a household that had only ever voted one way? Maybe you are going to base your vote on the leader debates? Perhaps you read each manifesto cover to cover (even I’m not that sad) and decide on that basis?
Or perhaps the value of your home plays a part...
Vote Tory for an expensive house
Property information website Zoopla has put together some fascinating research on the value of homes in the various constituencies of the three main parties, with some interesting results.
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Perhaps conforming to certain stereotypes, if you live with a Conservative-controlled constituency, chances are your home will be worth a few bob. According to the study, if you tend to vote blue, your home will be worth on average £257,500, far and away the top of the tree.
This will likely not come as a great surprise when you consider the traditional image of the Conservative Party as the party of the moneyed classes, out to protect the status quo. A glance at the constituency map and where the Tories hold seats reinforces the fact that it’s no great surprise that their homes tend to be more expensive – vast swathes of the South are blue seats, with only the occasional red or yellow blotch.
In last month’s piece The street where homes cost £7m!, Kensington came out as the area with the biggest proliferation of mega-expensive homes, so it’s almost inevitable that it is a Tory seat.
What’s more, those Tory areas have done pretty well out of 13 years of New Labour – the value of the homes in these regions has jumped an incredible 179% on average since Blair and his gang first entered Downing Street.
- Watch this video:
You’ll do ok if you vote Lib Dem
The second placed party are the Liberal Democrats, with average property prices of £228,880. While the party has just 62 seats, a number of them are in pretty affluent places, which really helps to bump up their average.
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For example, the Lib Dems hold the moneyed constituency of Richmond Park in West London, while areas such as Lewes on the South Coast, as well as all of Cornwall and parts of Devon represent places where many people would love to live, with all the benefits of living beside the sea.
As with Tory constituencies, properties in these areas have boomed price-wise since 1997, jumping an astonishing 190%, and have particularly flourished since the last election – an increase of more than 10%, far higher than either of the big two.
- Adopt this goal: Cut your mortgage costs and pay off your mortgage early
And in third place...
Way back in third place, with an average value of just £168,000, are the Labour constituencies.
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That’s a massive 53% less than the Conservative areas, a huge difference. This is only emphasised when you consider that the total value of properties in Labour or Tory seats is the same at £1.9 trillion, despite Labour controlling 4.5 million more homes.
And while homes in Labour areas have seen similar gains to those in Tory areas (177% compared to 179%), properties in these areas remain almost 20% below the national average.
Sticking to stereotypes, this perhaps isn’t THAT surprising. Historically at least, the Labour Party has been the party of the working classes, those without yachts and acres of land.
There is also the North/South divide, with Northern England something of a Labour stronghold. It perhaps should not be a surprise to see that the majority of the 10 cheapest streets to buy a home are found within Labour areas.
- Read this blog: Tory housing plans will only push up prices
I live next door to the PM...
The situation is even more pronounced if you live in the same constituency as any of the men who would be Prime Minister.
Recent question on this topic
- russelljcarr asks:
If you happen to live in the Witney constituency, the home of David Cameron, then you enjoy frankly astronomical average house prices, with the typical property worth £289,686. What’s more, if you have lived there since 1997 you will have seen your property rise in value from £98,756 - that's an increase of almost £200,000, in a little over a decade.
If instead you live in Sheffield Hallam, the constituency of flavour of the month Nick Clegg, then your property will likely be worth in the region of £219,136, slightly less than the average Liberal Democrat constituency. What’s more, the town has seen very modest growth in the last five years, certainly by Lib Dem standards, of just over 5%.
While Gordon Brown’s constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has seen sharp house price growth since the last election of almost 20%, it doesn’t stop him languishing in last place, with property values averaging £120,910, miles below not only the other leaders but even the typical Labour constituency values.
The end of boom and bust
It’s easy to jump to conclusions about the sort of people that vote for each party based on these results, but personally I’m a bit uneasy about doing that.
What is beyond question though is that they demonstrate clearly just how much property prices have boomed, across the country, since that day in May 1997 when the country agreed that things could indeed only get better.
Growth of around 200% in some constituencies is simply astonishing, and with that in mind it’s easy to see why some still hold out hope for a further correction that would make it far easier for first-time buyers to access the property ladder, and make things a little more realistic.
However, with house prices on the rise again, it seems to me that UK property prices will continue to confound logic (and gravity) for a little while longer at least.