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Consumer confidence in housing market nears all-time low

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

Just a seventh of people, or 14%, feel now is the right time to buy a house while 47% say it is not.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) Property Tracker survey said this gave a net rating of -33% for consumer confidence in the housing market. This was close to the -37% 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 8% of respondents in Yorkshire and the Humber, and a tenth of respondents in the North East. 

Just under half (49%) of people think house prices will fall, compared to 35% who said the same during the last survey in September. Just 16% believe house prices will increase, compared to 31% in September. For 9% 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% said raising a deposit was a barrier. A further 45% said getting a big enough mortgage loan was setting them back. 

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

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

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.”