Press release

Consumer confidence in house purchase deteriorates

28 June 2017

Short-term uncertainty from the General Election result has caused a deterioration of consumer confidence in the housing market, according to a report from the Building Societies Association out today.

Statistics from consumer survey Property Tracker published by the BSA, show just 21% of consumers saying that now is a good time to buy, down from 29% in March this year.  Nearly a third of consumers (30%) disagree that now is a good time to buy a home, the highest figure since December 2008 (37%) and up from 24% in March. 

Unsurprisingly, it is young people (18-24), that are the least confident about buying now with only 16% believing that now is a good time to buy.  A larger proportion (44%) of this age group believe that house prices will continue to rise over the next 12 months, compared to 37% across all ages.  This makes it harder for them to raise a deposit and afford a home of their own. 

Across all age groups, raising a deposit continues to be perceived as the single biggest barrier to home ownership, with 67% of consumers saying it would be one of the top 3 barriers stopping someone from buying their own home.

Commenting, Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA said.  “Care is always needed in interpreting consumer views in the aftermath of a political event like the General Election, particularly when the result is unexpected.  We saw a similar fall in consumer confidence after the Referendum in June last year.  However, by September 2016 confidence had largely bounced back.

“Whilst the political effect may be short term, some of the underlying economic fundamentals are becoming more of a challenge.  Over the past year, annual CPI inflation has picked up, reaching 2.9% in May, whilst the latest earnings figures for April show that wages grew by just 1.7% in the year. This means that consumers need to spend more just to maintain their current standard of living, a significant extra pressure for those who are saving for a deposit.  Mortgage rates, however, remain at historic lows and the market is highly competitive for those who do choose to purchase, whether for the first time or to move up the market.”   

Press Office contacts

Hilary McVitty, Head of External Affairs, Tel: 0207 520 5926, hilary.mcvitty@bsa.org.uk

Amy Harland, Press and Publications Officer, Tel: 0207 520 5927, amy.harland@bsa.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,018 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12-13 June 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  2. The BSA is the trade association that represents the UK’s 44 building societies and 4 of the larger credit unions.  Collectively building societies approved one in three of all new mortgages across the UK in the first three months of 2017, a third of the loans they made during this period were to first time buyers.  Many building societies provide mortgages for those with more complex needs including the self-employed, self-builders and consumers looking for the mortgage element of a shared ownership home.  
  3. A copy of the Property Tracker report is attached and a graphic covering consumer confidence is attached