Press release

Brexit slashes confidence in housing market

Released today, the BSA Property Tracker survey results reveal that:

  • Consumer confidence in the housing market has fallen considerably because of Brexit uncertainty - more than half of the population (53%) see Brexit as the biggest single risk to the market in 2019
  • Just 19% agree that ‘now is a good time to buy a property’ – down from almost a quarter (24%) in September. A third (33%) of the population disagree that “now is a good time to buy”.

While more than half of the population (53%) see Brexit as the biggest risk to the housing market in 2019, a rise in the cost of living (38%) and a rise in interest rates (36%) are also seen as a risk by consumers.

Raising a deposit remains the biggest barrier to home ownership (62%).

There is a growing concern about future falls in prices as a barrier to property purchase (28% - up from 18% in September).  Amongst those who don’t see now as a good time to buy, 31% say a correction in house prices might make them change their mind.  Other factors that would improve the feel good factor are a period of strong income growth and the UK Government reaching an agreement to leave the EU.


Commenting, Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA said:

“It is unsurprising that Brexit is a key factor in the subdued mortgage market. More than half of the population see it as the biggest risk to the market, and a quarter said an agreement with the EU would make them more confident.

“However, dominant negative media coverage and the pessimistic forecasts will be affecting people’s views. If we get some sort of clarity soon, this could cause a shift in sentiment.

“Looking past Brexit, the fact remains that raising a deposit is the biggest barrier to buying property. For decades, successive Governments have failed to get a grip on the deficit in housing supply. This has led to house price increases far exceeding wage growth, particularly for the young. The current Government has bold plans, but bold actions are needed to narrow the gap between house prices and earnings.”

Press contacts:

For further information or to interview Paul Broadhead please contact:

Hilary McVitty, Head of External Affairs Tel: 020 7520 5926


Notes to Editors:

  • All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,023 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th November and 2nd December 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  • The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 43 UK building societies, as well as 4 credit unions. Building societies have total assets of over £400 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of over £315 billion, 23% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold almost £280 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 19% of all such deposits in the UK. Building societies account for 37% of all cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 42,500 full and part-time staff, operate through approximately 1,470 branches and serve around 25 million members.
  • The full report can be viewed here.
  • Regional breakdown: Brexit risk in relation to 2019 housing market.




The BSA Team

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