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Just over one in 10 think now is a good time to buy property

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Only 14 per cent of people think it is a good time to buy a property at the moment, a trade association survey has found.

According to the Building Societies Association’s (BSA) latest quarterly property tracker survey, which was undertaken at the start of the month, this was the lowest level since research began 15 years ago and the figure had fallen to the same level recorded at the end of last year.

Around 42% thought it was not a good time to buy a property, which rose to 61% for potential first-time buyers.

Nearly two thirds of those surveyed said the affordability of monthly mortgage payments was their biggest barrier to purchasing a property.

The report said that usually the most popular barrier to a property purchase was raising a deposit, which took second position at 58%.

Other barriers included access to a large enough mortgage or access to a mortgage at all at 45%, lack of job security at 20% and concern about future falls in property prices at 19%.

The report continued that around 89% of mortgage borrowers were not concerned about keeping up with payments, and the remaining 11 per cent were not confident of maintaining payments in the next six months.

Within the latter, around 3% were not confident at all about maintaining mortgage payments in the upcoming six months.

Only one in five renters were concerned about meeting their housing costs, and within that six per cent were not at all confident.

Around 34% think that house prices will fall in the next year, down from around half at the end of last year.

Nearly a quarter think that house prices will rise in the next year.

‘Family finances…under pressure’

Andrew Gall, head of savings and economics at the BSA, said: “With inflation remaining persistently high, and the Bank of England raising the bank rate 13 consecutive times, it’s not surprising that overall the sentiment in the housing market remains low.

“The cost-of-living crisis, which is leading to increases in most areas of household expenditure, means family finances continue to be under pressure.”

He added: “Whilst the vast majority of people say they have been confident that they can maintain their mortgage and rental repayments, wider economic indicators suggest payment difficulties may start to tick up. Lenders are conscious that each mortgage in arrears is a real worry for the individual or family affected, and have experienced teams, with a wide range of options, ready to offer practical, tailored support to anyone who may be struggling.”