Housing market confidence ‘falling amidst Brexit uncertainty’

Housing market sentiment in the UK has fallen to its second lowest level since the EU referendum, the Building Societies Association (BSA) has revealed.

Its quarterly Property Tracker Survey has shown that public confidence in the housing market is now tracking at -12, down from -5 last quarter, and at the lowest point since a figure of -14 was recorded in December 2018.

At its peak in December 2009 the index stood at +42. The figure is calculated by taking the proportion of people who agreed that ‘now is a good time to buy’ and subtracting the number of people who did not agree.

The survey of 2,000 adults, conducted for the BSA by YouGov, also showed that a third of people across Britain expected house prices to fall over the next 12 months, up from a quarter in June 2019. On average, just 23% believed that house prices would rise.

There were regional variations, however, with 27% of respondents in the north east of England expecting property prices to drop, compared to 40% of people in the east of England. This quarter’s poll also showed that raising a deposit was cited as the biggest barrier to home ownership – a challenge that has topped the survey since it began over a decade ago.

BSA’s head of mortgages and housing, Paul Broadhead, said of the findings: “With the level of political uncertainty the country is experiencing it is unsurprising that consumer confidence in the housing market, amongst other things, has taken a knock. In the coming weeks and months, as we find out what shape Brexit will take, we are hopeful that confidence and stability will begin to return.”

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