Press release

Chancellor brings confidence back to the housing market

BSA Property Tracker
  • Optimism in the housing marketing returns
  • Stamp duty holiday and mortgage guarantee scheme boost confidence
  • Concerns about job security declining

The latest Property Tracker survey from the Building Societies Association, reveals a surge in consumer confidence in the housing market following the Budget earlier this month.

Over a third of people (37%) agree now is a good time to buy a property in the UK, compared to 27% in December, with just 17% disagreeing that now is a good time to buy, down from 23% in December.

There is also growing expectation that house prices will rise, with almost four in 10 people (39%) anticipating an increase over the next 12 months, a big jump from 25% three months ago.

It’s clear that the Chancellor’s Budget announcements earlier this month have stimulated the boost in confidence. 59% of first-time buyers said the mortgage guarantee scheme, which requires just a 5% deposit, has made them feel more positive about buying a property in the UK. The extension to the stamp duty holiday has also led to 40% of people feeling more positive about buying a property, with the furlough extension building confidence in buying a property for a third of people (33%).

In the midst of the Covid pandemic, lack of job security has been perceived as the biggest barrier to buying property and it remains so at 59%, however it is steadily declining as a reason for not purchasing (Dec 2020 - 65%; Sept 2020 - 68%).

Regional Variations

Increased optimism in the housing market can be seen, however the level of confidence differs by region:

  • In Wales, almost half (48%) of the people are expecting house prices to rise in the next 12 months, compared to a third (33%) in London and the East Midlands.
  • Almost half (45%) the people In the North East think now is a good time to buy a property, with less than a third (29%) agreeing in Scotland.
  • Lack of job security as a barrier to buying a property at 59% belies a north / south divide, with 65% in Yorkshire and Humberside citing this as a barrier, compared to just half (50%) of those in London.

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

“It’s great to see public confidence in the housing market returning. The vaccination rollout and the publication of the Government roadmap for easing Covid-19 restrictions are likely to have impacted this, but it’s also clear that some measures announced in the Budget, including the government-backed mortgage guarantee for those with small deposits and the stamp duty holiday extension, have been significant contributors to the growing optimism. 

“The extension to the furlough scheme has also stimulated confidence and it’s good to see that many people are no longer citing losing their jobs as a barrier to purchasing a home. We should however be mindful that the full impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the economy is still unclear and there’s strong evidence that the effect on household finances varies considerably, with those on lower incomes most negatively impacted. 

“With the latest forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility suggesting the unemployment rate will reach 6.5% this year, and many people still benefiting from mortgage payment deferrals, the overall figures may conceal those who are struggling financially and are feeling less optimistic about the future.”

Press contacts:

Tanya Jackson, External Affairs, Tel: 07881 501098 tanya.jackson@bsa.org.uk

Katie Wise, External Affairs Officer, Tel: 020 7520 5904, Katie.wise@bsa.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

  1. Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage and Housing Policy at the BSA is available for interview.  Please contact Katie Wise to arrange.
  2. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
  • March research - Total sample size was 2158 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th - 9th March 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  • November research - Total sample size was 2026 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th - 30th November 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  1. The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 43 UK building societies, as well as 6 credit unions. Building societies have total assets of over £435 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages over £338 billion, 23% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold over £297 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 17% 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 and operate through approximately 1,380 branches.
  2. The full report can be downloaded here.

Contact

Katie Wise

Policy & External Affairs Officer

Tel: 0207 520 5904 katie.wise@bsa.org.uk

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