Press release

Concerns over job security at a five-year high as Brexit uncertainty persists, reveals Property Tracker survey

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

  • Concerns over job security is at a five-year high
  • A third of people do not think that now is a good time to buy a property
  • Almost a third of the UK thinks that property prices will fall over the next year

Aspiring homeowners fear job insecurity and house price dips

More than a third (37%) of people cite a lack of job security as a barrier to home ownership. This is up from 29% in December, and is the highest this barrier has stood for five years.

In addition, concern about future falls in property prices has spiked to 29% - up from 16% this time last year.

A good time to buy?

In March a third (33%) of people said that now is not a good time to buy. For seven consecutive quarters - since June 2017 and around the time of the EU Referendum - the number of people who did not agree that ‘now is a good time to buy a property’ was significantly higher than those who did agree (23%). Property price expectations also remain weak, with more people thinking that prices will fall rather than rise over the next year. Although price expectations have improved a little compared to December 2018, nearly a third (31%) of the population still think they will fall over the next year.

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgages and Housing Policy at the BSA comments:Paul-Broadhead-image-(1).jpg

“With the UK’s divorce from the European Union looming, and no clear path for an orderly exit, it is unsurprising that people are concerned about job security and future dips in house prices.

“The UK is in uncharted territory, and political uncertainty is doubtlessly directly related to the weaker consumer confidence in the housing market.

“Raising a deposit (61%), access to mortgage finance (43%) and repayment affordability (40%) have been the top three barriers to home ownership for some time now. The recent increase in concerns about job insecurity and anxiety towards house price falls appear to be directly caused by the uncertainty around the UKs departure from the EU.

“We are already seeing fewer properties coming to market, and households moving far less frequently. It is vital that a clear plan for exiting the European Union is agreed imminently giving people certainty about the future and enabling Government to get on with fixing our broken housing market, something the Prime Minister committed to do early in 2017."

Notes to editors

You can read the full Property Tracker report and associated data tables here.

The Property Tracker survey is conducted quarterly by YouGov Plc for the Building Societies Association. Total sample size was 2,006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st March – 4 th March 2019. Surveys are carried out online. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Figures between June 2012 to March 2016 are from Canadean Consumer. For all other dates research was carried out by YouGov. Therefore, caution should be taken when comparing results across these periods.

The proportion agreeing ‘now is a good time to buy’ includes those who agree strongly and those who tend to agree, while the proportion disagreeing includes those who disagree strongly and those who tend to disagree. Respondents who answered 'don't know' are not shown, so percentages do not sum to one hundred.

Net agreement represents the proportion who agree with a statement minus the proportion who disagree. Net balance figures represents those who said house prices would rise to some extent minus those who said prices would fall. These figures are calculated by the Building Societies Association using YouGov data.

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 £320 billion, 23% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold over £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 and operate through approximately 1,470 branches. 

 

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