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Confidence in housing market slides amid anticipated price falls ‒ BSA

  • 11/09/2019
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Confidence in housing market slides amid anticipated price falls ‒ BSA
Confidence in the housing market has dropped to its second-lowest point since the EU referendum, the latest property tracker survey from the Building Societies Association (BSA) has revealed.

Each quarter the trade body polls people on whether they believe now is a good time to buy a house. In September it dropped to a -12 balance, from the -5 reading in June. That’s the second worst reading since the Brexit vote, with only the -14 score recorded in December 2018 surpassing it.

Before the referendum in March 2016, it stood at plus five.

The tracker further revealed that 33 per cent of people across the country expect house prices to fall over the next 12 months. This is up from 24 per cent in June.

The BSA noted significant regional variations, with 40 per cent of people in the East of England expecting prices to drop, compared to 27 per cent in the North East.

While raising a deposit is still regarded as the biggest barrier to home ownership by 60 per cent of respondents, the proportion had fallen from 64 per cent in June and is now at its lowest level since December 2015.

Paul Broadhead (pictured), head of mortgages and housing at the BSA, pointed to the current political uncertainty and said that it was unsurprising that consumer confidence in the housing market “has taken a knock”.

He said: “We will be monitoring closely the barriers to homeownership. It is positive that raising a deposit has become a slightly lesser concern to would-be homeowners, but with the Help to Buy ISA scheme drawing to a close from November this could easily change. Some are turning to a Lifetime ISA which follows a similar structure to the Help to Buy ISA.”

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