Share your thoughts on our News & Insights section. Complete our survey to help us improve.

2024 General Election – what do the Conservative and Labour manifestos mean for first-time buyers?

Conservatives and Labour have made promises for housing in their 2024 General Election manifestos. Here’s what it could mean for first-time buyers.
Young couple moving house surrounded by boxes.png

Important information - This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

In the 2024 General Election, all major parties have mentioned housing in their manifestos.

With high interest rates on mortgages making things difficult, it’s been challenging for lots of first-time buyers.

If you’re a first-time buyer, you’re probably very interested in what the Conservatives and Labour are promising.

Here’s what they’ve promised for housing, and what can you do regardless of the election outcome.

This article isn’t personal advice. If you're not sure what’s right for your circumstances, ask for financial advice.

Sarah Coles, Head of Personal Finance, discusses potential implications of the election result on property.
Visit our 2024 General Election hub

Get our latest insights on what the General Election could mean for you and your money.

What is the Conservative party promising on housing in the 2024 General Election?

Building new homes

The Conservatives promise to deliver 1.6 million new homes in England by the next parliament.

They plan to do this by building on brownfield land, this is land that was previously built on or had infrastructure on it, like underused industrial land. And they aim to achieve this by changing the planning system and increasing the population density in areas in London and other cities.

They’re also looking to renew the affordable homes programme which gives money to housing developers who provide affordable housing.

Financial changes

The Conservatives have pledged to increase the threshold at which first-time buyers pay stamp duty from £300,000 to £425,000. They’re also looking to continue the mortgage guarantee scheme.

They’re promising a new Help to Buy Scheme that gives first-time buyers a loan of up to 20% towards the cost of a new-build home.

The Conservatives want to introduce a temporary capital gains tax relief for landlords who sell to existing tenants. This could incentivise landlords to sell to their renters at a lower rate than the market.

They’re also looking to complete leasehold reform, capping ground rents at £250, before reducing them to a peppercorn rent over time. This is an area where many have faced issues purchasing a home.

What is Labour promising on housing in the 2024 General Election?

Building new homes

Labour is promising 1.5 million new homes. Again, by prioritising building on brownfield land, making use of lower quality green belt land dubbed ‘grey belt’ land, while also looking to develop new towns. They also hope to introduce planning reform to allow more houses to be built quicker.

Labour is also looking at affordable housing, strengthening planning obligations, as well making it deliver more homes from existing funding and supporting councils and housing associations to build their capacity.

Plus, they want to make sure first-time buyers can buy properties on new developments before they’re sold to overseas investors.

Financial changes

Labour is looking at bringing in a permanent mortgage guarantee scheme for those with smaller deposits, helping those with lower deposits get on the housing ladder.

They want to end new leasehold properties which they dub ‘fleeceholds’ and control ground rents which are unregulated and can be unaffordable.

They’re also looking at unfair maintenance costs, which can prove costly for those living in places with management companies managing the property.

What does all this mean for first-time buyers?

Whichever party gets in, both the Conservatives and Labour are looking to build many more new homes, which could help make things more affordable.

Changes to leasehold rules are also welcome as they can often cause headaches when buying or after you’ve bought a property.

And both seem committed to mortgage-guarantee schemes which help people get on the ladder.

These are welcome things if you’re looking to buy your first home.

But of course, these are only pledges and we don’t know what they’ll actually deliver if they’re elected.

Visit our 2024 General Election hub

Get our latest insights on what the General Election could mean for you and your money.

What can first-time buyers do now?

There’s something you can do regardless of who wins the election, which is making the most of a Lifetime ISA (LISA).

Lifetime ISAs allow you to save and invest for your first home or later life, and like other ISAs, your money can grow free from UK tax.

But LISAs offer a benefit you can’t ignore.

For every £4 you put in, the government will give you £1 on top. You can contribute up to £4,000 a year to a LISA as part of your £20,000 ISA allowance, getting up to £1,000 from the government each year. That’s a 25% return without doing anything else.

You must be 18-39 years old to open one, but you can still pay in and get the bonus until you turn 50.

You can withdraw money from a LISA to buy a qualifying first home, or for later life after age 60. Other withdrawals will usually mean a 25% government charge, so you could get back less than you put in.

You do need to have a Lifetime ISA open for at least 12 months before you can use it to buy a first home without a penalty. So, opening one sooner than later could be better if you’re looking to buy a house in the next few years.

Neither party has suggested changing the LISA so far, but tax and ISA rules can change, and their benefits depend on your circumstances.

Want to find out more about using a Lifetime ISA to buy your first home?

Want to stay updated with the latest on the 2024 General Election?

Sign up to our Editor’s Choice email and we’ll send you our top stories from the week, every Saturday morning – including all our latest insights on the 2024 General Election and what it means for your money.

Looking for investment ideas?

The government bonus helps boost your LISA pot, but you can help grow it even more by investing your money.

Remember though, unlike the security offered by cash, all investments fall as well as rise in value. So, if you choose to invest, you could get back less than you put in.

Latest from 2024 General Election
Personal Finance Newsletter
Sign up for Monday Money Matters. Get the top stories from HL, including top tax-saving tips and the latest on pensions, savings, annuities and the housing market.
Written by
Charlie Hutchence
Charlie Hutchence
Investment Writer

Charlie is a part of our writing team that covers investments and ISAs. He's passionate about the value of long-term investing and making your money work harder for you, using his writing to help our clients make the most of their money.

Our content review process
The aim of Hargreaves Lansdown's financial content review process is to ensure accuracy, clarity, and comprehensiveness of all published materials
Article history
Published: 19th June 2024