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Housing Market Confidence Slow to Recover

Consumer confidence in the housing market doesn’t appear to have fully recovered since June’s General Election, according to new research from the Building Societies Association (BSA).

It found that over a quarter of respondents (27%) do not agree that now is a good time to buy a property compared to just 23% who do.

Although the political environment has stabilised somewhat since June, consumer confidence continues to be affected by a number of other factors. Raising a deposit apparently remains the biggest barrier to property purchase (68%) and 45% say affordability of mortgage repayments is a barrier.

Home movers are particularly concerned with stamp duty costs, which presents a further challenge for those who want to move up the property ladder and limits the stock of housing for those looking to make their first purchase.

“Confidence in the housing market is clearly fragile,” commented Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage policy at the BSA. “Consumers were faced with political uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU and unexpected General Election results, and now the rising cost of living is their latest challenge.”

“Consumer prices are running ahead of wage growth, and there is little evidence of this changing in the short term,” he said. “This is adding to the formidable affordability constraints already facing prospective home buyers.”

“It is evident that home-movers are facing the same affordability pressures as first-time buyers, meaning some homeowners are unable to sell their property – further reducing choice and pushing up prices for those just getting on to the housing ladder,” he added.

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