UK consumers have reported that all the major barriers to property purchase have fallen, the BSA’s final Property Tracker of 2015 reveals.
Raising a deposit - the single biggest barrier since 2010 - is now at its lowest level for six years. However, it still presents a barrier to over half of consumers with 52% saying it is a hurdle to overcome. This is down from 59% in September 2015 and the high of 69% in September 2011.
From September to December 2015, access to mortgage finance as a barrier to home ownership dropped from 41% to 38%. The affordability of monthly mortgage repayments fell from 35% to 33% and lack of job security is now at 26%, down from 28%.
The results indicate that people are feeling reasonably confident about home ownership as an option for them. This could partially be as a result of the focus on housing in the Autumn Statement in November and is evidenced by the strong lending by building societies and other lenders across the market this year.
Commenting on the results, Paul Broadhead, BSA Head of Mortgage Policy said:
“This snapshot of sentiment in the housing market shows that consumers are feeling reasonably optimistic about getting on or moving up the property ladder. Awareness of Government schemes, such as Help to Buy and the new Help to Buy, London plus the availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages helps to bring choice and competition to the market. Housing generally needs to remain a top priority for the Government.
"Now is the time to focus on building more homes, supported by appropriate investment in infrastructure, in order to begin to address the long term imbalance of housing supply with demand. Innovative mortgage products and intermediate forms of tenure must also be championed – not just by building societies – but by all lenders, the regulators and government. This will go some way to delivering a sustainable housing market which caters to the needs of a wide range of credit worthy consumers, not just those with ‘vanilla’ borrowing requirements.”
Take a look at the Property Tracker report, here.
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Notes to editors
1. This survey was conducted by Canadean Consumer for the Building Societies Association (BSA). Figures prior to June 2012 are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size for December 2015 was 2000 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27 - 29 November 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
2. The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 44 UK building societies. Building societies have total assets of over £330 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of nearly £260 billion, 20% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold almost £240 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 18% of all such deposits in the UK. Building societies account for about 29% of all cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 40,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 1,550 branches.