Michael Gove: Trick or Treat for Housing Market?

Michael Gove: Trick or Treat for Housing Market?

13 October 2021

In September, Michael Gove was appointed Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in Boris Johnson’s recent government reshuffle and, more than a month in, we ask whether or not he is set to be a trick or a treat for the housing market.

In the last 24 years alone, there have been 18 Housing Secretaries, looking to take on the responsibility of governing the market and, with Gove tasked with “levelling up” the UK, he looks set to make some big changes.

After a booming year for the housing market, brought on by the pandemic and the Stamp Duty Holiday, the question remains – where does it go from here?

There’s hope that addressing the growing demand for housing supply in both the sales and rental market is at the top of Gove’s to-do list and there are expectations that we will also see more initiatives launched aimed at assisting with buyer demand and keeping house prices buoyant.

In this year’s Budget, Rishi Sunak introduced new measures to turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy but is that still on the cards?

The government intends on building 300,000 new homes a year* and to give more opportunities for affordable housing. A successful execution of this plan would help substantially towards the transformation of opportunities available to first-time buyers – in particular, students and young working professionals.

Following the recent ‘Insulate Britain’ protests happening on the outskirts of London, Gove will need to carefully balance working alongside environmental groups but, given his previous appointment as the Environment Secretary, you would hope he still has some relationships in place to help him protect green belt land.

Mr. Gove has just started his new role and we are still left speculating without any firm plans just yet but, after what has been a supercharged year, the pressure is really on Michael Gove to ensure a sustained market and it might just take a few bold moves to make that happen.

*City A.M, 2021