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Coronavirus impacts housing market confidence

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Concerns over the coronavirus are already impacting confidence in the property market, research has indicated.

More than a quarter of people who felt more pessimistic about prospects for the housing market in March than at the end of last year cited the outbreak of the virus, according to a survey by the Building Society Association (BSA).

However, overall confidence in house price expectations has picked up, with 40 per cent of people expecting values to rise, up from a quarter in December.

The results put sentiment towards the property market in positive territory for the first time in three years, with more people agreeing ‘now is a good time to buy’ compared to those who disagree.

Increased political certainty with Brexit and the General Election result are the main reasons for increased optimism.

Paul Broadhead, BSA head of mortgages and housing, said: “It is encouraging to see housing market sentiment pick up in the first Property Tracker survey of 2020. Here’s hoping the trend continues.

“The polarisation of the nation when it comes to both Brexit and last year’s election means it is hardly surprising that these key events are behind why people think it is a better – or indeed worse – time to buy a property than it was three months ago.

“We will be keeping a weather eye on the impact coronavirus has on the housing market.

“Reassuringly, these results show that, for now, it is a relatively low concern for people in terms of the housing market.

“People who are concerned about the coronavirus and meeting their mortgage repayments are encouraged to speak to their lender.”


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