Consumer sentiment in the housing market improves

Robyn Hall

March 19, 2013

In March last year 50% of first-time buyers said that access to finance was a major hurdle however by March 2013 this number had fallen substantially to 34%.

However in its Budget submission the BSA has highlighted the need for government to take a more holistic, cross-departmental approach to housing and to actively promote the building of more new homes.

Adrian Coles, director-general of the Building Societies Association, said: “The results from this latest Property Tracker survey give a more encouraging snapshot of the housing market.

“It fits well with the financial results from a number of home builders and chimes with lending, at least in the mutual sector.”

The tracker found that lending by mutual lenders and building societies had increased by 30% in 2012 and the BSA predicts that figure should further increase in 2013 as the Funding for Lending Scheme begins to take full effect.

When asked how UK property prices will change over the next twelve months 45% of consumers said they believed it would rise.

This figure is eleven percentage points up on the views expressed in December 2012. Just 14% of people think property prices will fall in the next year well down on the 23% who thought so in December 2012.

The Tracker also revealed that other major barriers to property purchase are also coming down.

These include lack of job security – down to 43% and affordability of monthly repayments which fell from 39% in December to 37% in March this year.

The Tracker found First-time buyers now feel more confident in their ability to make monthly mortgage repayments.

Overall 35% of first-time buyers see affording mortgage repayments as a barrier to home ownership, down from 42% in December 2012.

However a substantial number of consumers still consider raising a deposit as the most difficult step to becoming a homeowner.

61% of first-time buyers still say raising a deposit is the biggest barrier to buying a home, down from 69% from March last year.

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