Finance

Aspiring homeowners hold off buying amid house price uncertainty

Concern about future falls in property prices has spiked to 29% - up from 16% this time last year.

Rozi Jones
|
13th March 2019
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"The UK is in uncharted territory, and political uncertainty is doubtlessly directly related to the weaker consumer confidence in the housing market."

Almost a third of Brits think property prices will fall over the next year and 33% don't think that now is a good time to buy a property, according to the BSA’s latest Property Tracker.

37% of people cited a lack of job security as a barrier to home ownership, up from 29% in December, to the highest level for five years.

In addition, concern about future falls in property prices has spiked to 29% - up from 16% this time last year.

For seven consecutive quarters - since June 2017 and around the time of the EU Referendum - the number of people who did not agree that ‘now is a good time to buy a property’ was significantly higher than those who did agree (23%).

Property price expectations also remain weak, with more people thinking that prices will fall rather than rise over the next year. Although price expectations have improved a little compared to December 2018, nearly a third (31%) of the population still think they will fall over the next year.

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgages and housing policy at the BSA, commented: “With the UK’s divorce from the European Union looming, and no clear path for an orderly exit, it is unsurprising that people are concerned about job security and future dips in house prices.

“The UK is in uncharted territory, and political uncertainty is doubtlessly directly related to the weaker consumer confidence in the housing market.

“Raising a deposit (61%), access to mortgage finance (43%) and repayment affordability (40%) have been the top three barriers to home ownership for some time now. The recent increase in concerns about job insecurity and anxiety towards house price falls appear to be directly caused by the uncertainty around the UKs departure from the EU.

“We are already seeing fewer properties coming to market, and households moving far less frequently. It is vital that a clear plan for exiting the European Union is agreed imminently giving people for certainty about the future and enabling Government to get on with fixing our broken housing market, something the Prime Minister committed to do early in 2017."

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