The BSA’s latest property tracker survey shows a surge in buyer confidence following the extension of the stamp duty holiday and furlough scheme.
Some 37 per cent of people agree now is a good time to buy a property in the UK, compared to 27 per cent in December, with just 17 per cent disagreeing, down from 23 per cent in December.
There is also growing expectation that house prices will rise, with almost 40 per cent anticipating an increase over the next 12 months, a big jump from 25 per cent three months ago.
Among first-time buyers, 59 per cent said the government’s 95 per cent mortgage guarantee initiative had made them feel more positive about taking their first steps on to the property ladder.
Along with the announcement that a mortgage guarantee scheme was coming from mid-April with the five biggest banks in the country pledging to bring forward low-deposit ranges, Rishi Sunak also extended the furlough scheme until September and the stamp duty holiday until the end of June after which it begins to taper off.
According to the survey, the extension to the stamp duty holiday has led to 40 per cent of people feeling more positive about buying a property, with the furlough extension building confidence in buying a property for 33 per cent.
A lack of job security, caused by the impact of coronavirus on the economy, has been perceived as the biggest barrier to buying property and remains so at 59 per cent. However, it is steadily declining as a reason for not purchasing.
Paul Broadhead (pictured), head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA, said: “The extension to the furlough scheme has also stimulated confidence and it’s good to see that many people are no longer citing losing their jobs as a barrier to purchasing a home.
“We should however be mindful that the full impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the economy is still unclear and there’s strong evidence that the effect on household finances varies considerably, with those on lower incomes most negatively impacted.
“With the latest forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility suggesting the unemployment rate will reach 6.5 per cent this year, and many people still benefiting from mortgage payment deferrals, the overall figures may conceal those who are struggling financially and are feeling less optimistic about the future.”