People in Scotland are more confident about buying property compared to people in rest of the UK, despite the prospect of interest rates rising.
These were the findings of the latest Halifax Quarterly Housing Market Confidence Tracker Report – the information for which was collected by surveying almost 2,000 people across the United Kingdom.
The report shows that contrary to previous research indicating that buyer confidence had plunged, not only is buyer confidence rising in Scotland, but it is also rising throughout the UK as a whole.
Predictably, people hoping to buy property in London and the south East of England - the ‘housing bubble’ - are least positive about being able to buy property within the next 12 months.
The Tracker Report indicates that the places where house prices have risen at a steadier rate than London are the areas in which the highest percentage of people believe the next 12 months will be a good time to buy - 31 per cent of Scottish people think the coming year will be a good time to purchase a house.
The position in the North of England and the South West of England is largely the same as it is in Scotland, with 29 per cent of people having a positive attitude towards buying property. Moreover, in Wales, 25 per cent of the people surveyed believe that the coming months would be a good time to buy.
However, 18 per cent of people in the UK - up from 13 per cent last year - are concerned about the possibility of increased interest rates which could be imposed by the Bank of England. For more than five years, the interest rate has been held at a steady 0.5 per cent, but this could be increased as the economy continues to grow.
Furthermore, there was a “sharp rise” - 35 per cent compared with just 20 per cent last year - of people surveyed who said that the rising prices were a barrier to buying. The biggest barrier to buying, however, remains raising funds for a deposit, with 55 per cent of those surveyed perceiving this to be the biggest hurdle to overcome.
Commenting on the latest findings, Mortgages Director at Halifax, Craig McKinlay said:
“Over the past two years consumer confidence has continued to grow, however it appears that we’ve reached a tipping point, with the equilibrium between buyers and sellers much more out of sync.
“The results highlight the regional variations as now people believe that it’s a good time to sell but not buy, particularly in London and the south east, where house price expectations are generally higher and buyers appear to be less inclined to rush into buying a property.”
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