RICS comments on the UK General Election

Justin Young, CEO of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), comments on Labour’s winning the UK General Election 2024.

“On behalf of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, I am delighted to congratulate Labour on their election win.

“As Labour prepare to appoint ministers in the coming days, and look to department structures, it’s vital that they bestow an urgency to translate the plethora of promises made over the last five weeks into sound and workable policy.”

Housing delivery:

“Labour’s ambitions are bold, but by pulling the right policy levers, they can be achievable.

“Delivering 1.5 million homes over a five-year period will be no easy feat.

“To achieve this, the public and private sectors would be required to deliver 300,000 new homes a year – a figure not hit since the 1960s, which was a time when local councils played a far greater role in housing delivery.

“Therefore, policymakers must introduce in a timely manner a programme of policies that speed up development and add significant resource to planning departments up and down the country.

“This will be particularly pertinent in Labour’s quest to achieve economic growth; many studies have agreed on the positive correlation between GDP growth and the availability of homes.

“If housing delivery is backloaded towards the end of parliament, then the electorate may not see benefits quickly enough.”


“Real, meaningful change requires long-term stability.

“Regardless of who is assigned to key positions across our sector, they must be given the time to executive their mandate; one of the reasons why we’ve seen such a lack of progress in housebuilding and construction is because we’ve had 16 housing ministers in 2010.

“To speed-up decision making, policymakers must ensure planning departments are properly resourced.

“Labour has promised 300 extra planning officers.

“While collectively a big number, this amounts to less than planning officer per local authority.

“Resource will be key to achieve significant planning reforms.

“As well as speeding up decision-making, planning reform is needed to ensure we empower SMEs housebuilders to add additional capacity and expertise.

“Smaller builders require much more certainty – something the current system does not deliver.”


“Policymakers must also address the skills shortage – otherwise the UK will be unable to deliver on its 300,000-homes-a-year target and £805 billion infrastructure pipeline.

“At RICS, we are calling for Government Departments to work together to create a Built Environment Taskforce.

“The body should be responsible for mapping future labour needs to meet house building, retrofit and net zero needs.

“This will include a review of early-years education engagement including the introduction of a Built Environment GCSE in England, and an analysis of public sector skills retention and recruitment – including shared service planning models.”

Commercial property:

“There must also be a focus on reforming the business rates regime.

“Commercial real estate plays a fundamental role in fuelling economic growth, creating jobs and supporting communities.

“These properties are not just buildings; they are essential, diverse spaces where businesses, from shops and offices to factories, operate and thrive.

“The RICS 2022 Commercial Real Estate Impact Report illustrates that commercial real estate directly generates £66bn in GVA, over £15bn in tax revenues and employees more than 1 million people.

“However, with valuations dropping by as much as half due to a high interest rate environment, both small and large investors are having to grapple with tightening yields and margins.

“Therefore, policymakers must reduce business rates, which have become too high, complex and burdensome, and threaten to suppress growth and discourage much needed inward investment.”


Kindly shared by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)