BSA: Brexit and the Election result pose the biggest risks

Michael Lloyd

December 5, 2019

People believe Brexit and the General Election results pose the two biggest risks to the stability of the housing market in 2020, the Building Societies Association (BSA) has found.

Brexit was selected by 43% of people and the General Election result by 30%.

A rise in the cost of living (36%) and weak economic growth (30%) are also significant perceived risks.

Yet people are reportedly more optimistic when it comes to house prices with 28% expecting them to rise over the coming year, up 5% on this time last year.

The biggest barrier to homeownership remains raising a deposit (62%)

Paul Broadhead (pictured) head of mortgages and policy at the BSA, said: “Political uncertainty has dogged housing market sentiment for some time, so it is unsurprising that it continues to play an adverse role.

“With a clear path still not set for Brexit, and with next week’s General Election making an impact, market sentiment has remained negative since June 2017.

“Raising a deposit continues to be the biggest barrier to homeownership.

“With the Help to Buy ISA now closed to new applicants, it will be interesting to see how the new government addresses the issue of helping people onto the property ladder, along with the wider housing crisis.

“Those who have missed the deadline could still receive government support to buy their first home by opening a Lifetime ISA.”

The majority of people (77%) consider energy efficiency an important factor when buying a home.

A quarter (25%) think that the government should be responsible for improving UK homes’ energy efficiency, 17% point to energy companies and 42% said responsibility lies with homeowners.

However, half of homeowners believe the costs associated with relevant improvements present a barrier.

Over half (54%) said council tax reductions would incentivise them to make their homes more energy efficient.

Broadhead added: “Elsewhere, the BSA’s sector-led Green Task Force has been set up to work across this critical topic in a bid to make ‘going green’ as seamless as possible.

“The importance placed on energy efficiency in the Property Tracker results confirm that the task force has been established at the right time.”

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