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Consumer confidence in housing market nears all-time low – BSA

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  • 19/12/2022
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Consumer confidence in housing market nears all-time low – BSA
Just a seventh of people, or 14 per cent, feel now is the right time to buy a house while 47 per cent say it is not.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) Property Tracker survey said this gave a net rating of -33 per cent for consumer confidence in the housing market. This was close to the -37 per cent all-time low rating recorded in September this year. 

People in London have a more favourable attitude towards the market now, with almost a fifth feeling it is a good time to purchase a property. This compares to eight per cent of respondents in Yorkshire and the Humber, and a tenth of respondents in the North East. 

Some 49 per cent of people think house prices will fall, compared to 35 per cent who said the same during the last survey in September. Just 16 per cent believe house prices will increase, compared to 31 per cent in September. For nine per cent of respondents, there are worries about the value of their home falling. 

 

Financial concerns 

Two thirds of respondents said rising mortgage rates impacting affordability was an obstacle when considering buying a property, while 53 per cent said raising a deposit was a barrier. A further 45 per cent said getting a big enough mortgage loan was setting them back. 

Looking ahead, 70 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about increasing energy prices and 63 per cent cited the rising cost of food. 

Homeowners were more concerned about energy costs, with a split at 73 per cent of respondents who own a home and two thirds of people who rent. 

The majority of homeowners did not cite concerns about keeping up with mortgage payments, at 87 per cent. By comparison, 77 per cent of renters are not worried about making payments. 

 

A slower market 

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA, said: “Whilst several house price measures are now showing modest price falls, the significant increases over the last two years, alongside the spiralling cost of food, fuel and energy, means mortgage affordability for those wishing to buy a property is likely to be more difficult now than it was 12 months ago.  

“I expect this, and raising a deposit, will remain key barriers to homeownership for some time to come, with many potentially having to lower their ambitions on the property they can consider buying.” 

He said it was “encouraging” that most homeowners were not worried about keeping up with mortgage payments and this was evident in the lack of increase in arrears. 

Broadhead said there was also not one market, so while confidence was low each individual would approach things differently. 

He added: “In general, there still remains an imbalance between the supply and demand for properties across most areas of the UK, which I expect will keep the market moving, albeit at a slower pace than we’ve seen recently.” 

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