Would-be homeowners are worrying more about house prices

Michael Lloyd

July 31, 2019

Would-be homeowners have become more worried about house prices and raising a deposit and less concerned about mortgage affordability, property finance specialists, One 77 Mortgages has found.

House prices are still the second biggest concern for 88% of adults, also up 4% since 2015, with saving for a deposit the next biggest concern for 87% of adults.

Alastair McKee, managing director of One 77 Mortgages, said: “It makes sense that wider influences of affordability outside of the control of home buyers and sellers are amongst some of the biggest concerns within the property market and with prices still on the up despite wider political uncertainty, this is likely to remain the case for the future.

“It’s interesting to see that mortgages still rank rather high and I think this is down to a lack of understanding around the sector as a whole rather than the actual issues of affordability in gaining a mortgage.

“Yes, the deposit is an initial hurdle that must be overcome but currently, the affordability of mortgage products is the not only the best it has been in a long time, but we’re also seeing the longest sustained period of affordability in a very long time.”

While the availability of housing isn’t a direct concern, the imbalance of housing stock to meet demand does cause an inadvertent increase in house prices and finding a house to actually buy is the fourth biggest concern at 81% – up 9% since 2015.

However, with almost record low-interest rates, concerns of mortgage affordability have dropped. While the ability to get a mortgage and the further task of paying it off is still the fifth and sixth biggest concern, they have dropped by 8% and 3% respectively since 2015.

Progression up the ladder and the quality of housing available (63%) are the next biggest concerns. Despite the lower fees presented by online and hybrid agents, recent failures by those using the model mean that estate agent fees remain a concern (59%), up 2% since 2015.

The leasehold scandal that made the news in 2016 sees the leasehold/freehold system of the UK property market rank as the 10th biggest concern at 53%, increasing by a notable 11% since 2015.

Amongst some of the other concerns sited are property and solicitor fees (52%), the home buying and selling process (51%), the availability of suitable housing for the over 60s (40%), stamp duty (38%), negative equity (36%) and gazumping (34%).

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