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Lack of job security and property price fears holding back homebuyers

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Concern over job security hit a five-year high with 37% of people citing a lack of job security as a barrier to home ownership, Building Societies Association (BSA) research has found.

The figure was up from 29% in December with concern about future falls in property prices also spiking to 29% of respondents, up from 16% this time last year, the BSA’s latest Property Tracker found.

The report showed that in March a third of people said now was not a good time to buy with 23% saying it was a good time.

Property price expectations also remain weak, with more people thinking that prices will fall rather than rise over the next year.

Although price expectations have improved a little compared to December 2018, nearly a third of the population still think they will fall over the next year.

Top ownership barriers

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgages and housing policy at the BSA (pictured), said that with the UK’s divorce from the European Union looming, and no clear path for an orderly exit, it was unsurprising that people were concerned about job security and future dips in house prices.

He added: “The UK is in uncharted territory, and political uncertainty is doubtlessly directly related to the weaker consumer confidence in the housing market.

“Raising a deposit, access to mortgage finance and repayment affordability have been the top three barriers to home ownership for some time now, at 61%, 43% and 40% respectively.

“The recent increase in concerns about job insecurity and anxiety towards house price falls appear to be directly caused by the uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU. We are already seeing fewer properties coming to market, and households moving far less frequently.

“It is vital that a clear plan for exiting the European Union is agreed imminently giving people for certainty about the future and enabling government to get on with fixing our broken housing market, something the Prime Minister committed to do early in 2017.”

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