BSA: Pre-Brexit confidence has returned

John Hewitt Jones

September 20, 2016

A significant 12% of respondents to a Building Societies Association survey said they were more likely to purchase a property now than they were at the beginning of the year. 

The result follows claims that the decision to exit the EU had dampened the market – the survey found that just 4% said the likelihood of them purchasing property had declined.

Despite a weakening in house prices, more than two in five consumers who are more likely to buy a property say a change in personal circumstances has put them in a better position to do so, compared to a year ago.

House price expectations have softened, with 17% of consumers believing house prices are likely to fall in the next 12 months. Over the same period last year just 4% of respondents believed prices would drop.

Paul Broadhead (pictured), head of mortgage policy at the BSA, underlined that key aspects of the housing market had not changed: “With more people viewing now as a good time to buy a property, the BSA’s September Property Tracker results show a bounce back in consumer confidence.

“Following the decision on 24 June, there were numerous media reports of buyers pulling out of property purchases, but the fundamentals of the housing market remain strong, and there has not been a significant reduction in housing demand. Mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low and UK building societies continue to offer market leading products.

“Looking ahead, housing market sentiment will ultimately be determined by the health of the UK economy, and more specifically wage growth and job security. While the UK unemployment rate remains under 5%, the vote to leave the EU has had some impact on business confidence and investment.

“To support the housing market it’s vital that the government continues to increase housing supply and ensure that we build enough homes to house the UK’s current population.”

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