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Job insecurity overtakes raising a deposit as barrier to home ownership – BSA

  • 11/06/2020
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Job insecurity overtakes raising a deposit as barrier to home ownership – BSA
Some 65 per cent of buyers have cited job insecurity as the main barrier to home ownership, the first time in a decade raising a deposit has not been named as the main obstacle.


This is up from March, where 35 per cent of buyers named job insecurity as a hindrance to owning a home and 65 per cent mentioned deposit. 

According to the latest Property Tracker survey of 2,007 adults conducted by the Building Society Association (BSA), 40 per cent of buyers listed raising a deposit as their primary concern while 31 per cent cited future drops in house prices. 

Although the lockdown had a huge impact on the housing market, the proportion of people overall who feel it is a good time to buy a property has remained stable. In June, a quarter of respondents said now was a good time to purchase, a marginal decrease on the 26 per cent who said so in March. 

However, 34 per cent of buyers feel now is not the right time to buy a house, up from 23 per cent in March. 

The survey also showed that 45 per cent of respondents believe house prices will fall in the next 12 months, compared to 16 per cent who predict they will increase. 


Resuming activity 

Some 34 per cent of buyers have continued with their house buying process or plan to do so in the next month. Furthermore, 29 per cent of sellers either kept their property listed during the lockdown or plan to relist over the next month. 

Just five per cent of sellers have not put their property on the market because of the pandemic and 11 per cent of buyers have put a pause on house hunting for the next two years. 

Buyers need to feel more confident with the transaction process as nine in 10 buyers said they felt uncomfortable relying completely on virtual or third party viewings. 

Some 36 per cent said evidence that properties could be viewed in a safe manner would give them more confidence in the housing market, while 28 per cent cited a complete lifting of lockdown measures. 

Others were thinking on a more individualistic level as 35 per cent said increased job security would make them confident about the housing market. Some 28 per cent responded lower house prices, and just one per cent said an increase in prices would give them confidence. 

Paul Broadhead, BSA head of mortgages and housing, said: These results mark the first time that ‘raising a deposit’ hasn’t been the biggest barrier to home ownership in a decade. Many households have increased their cash savings during lockdown.  

If they grow more secure about their job prospects, this may enable buyers to put a little more towards a deposit, and if prices do moderate somewhat, it could help with affordability issues  especially for first-time buyers.  

Once the market settles back into some form of normality and confidence in job security rebuilds, we could see a fresh landscape that appeals to aspiring homeowners,” he added.  

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