Press release

Consumers wary of buying homes as market confidence fails to recover after election

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

  • Households continue to worry about the rising cost of living and their ability to save
  • Consumer confidence in home purchasing remains subdued

Kentish-Town-Houses-Colours.jpgFour in ten (40%) consumers are concerned about the rising cost of living, and over a quarter (28%) are worried about the difficulty of saving for the future.

Elsewhere, confidence in buying property remains negative in September after initially falling into negative territory following June’s General Election. Over a quarter of respondents (27%) do not agree that now is a good time to buy a property compared to just 23% who do.

Although we are now in a more politically stable environment than in June, other factors remain at play that are dampening consumers’ attitude towards home buying.

Raising a deposit remains the biggest barrier to property purchase (68%) and 45% say affordability of mortgage repayments is a barrier.

Home movers are particularly concerned with stamp duty costs (38%) compared to the average (14%). This is a further challenge for those who want to move up the property ladder and limits the stock of housing for those looking to make their first purchase.

Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage policy at the BSA said:

“Confidence in the housing market is clearly fragile. Consumers were faced with political uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU and unexpected General Election results, and now the rising cost of living is their latest challenge.

“Consumer prices are running ahead of wage growth, and there is little evidence of this changing in the short term. This is adding to the formidable affordability constraints already facing prospective home buyers.

“It is evident that home-movers are facing the same affordability pressures as first-time buyers, meaning some homeowners are unable to sell their property – further reducing choice and pushing up prices for those just getting on to the housing ladder. “

Press Contact:
Amy Harland, Press and Publications Officer, BSA
Amy.harland@bsa.org.uk
020 7520 5927

Notes to editors:

  1. The Property Tracker survey is conducted quarterly by YouGov Plc for the Building Societies Association. Total sample size was 2,027 adults for fieldwork undertaken between 1st – 4th September 2017. Total sample size was 2,018 adults for fieldwork undertaken between 12th – 13 June 2017. The surveys were carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Results from past waves are available upon request. 
  2. 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 recent results with data prior to June 2016.
  3. 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. Excludes respondents who answered 'don't know' are not shown, so percentages do not sum to one hundred
  4. Home-movers are those who own a property that they live in, and are looking to move and purchase another one.
  5.  The Building Societies Association (BSA) represents all 44 UK building societies. Building societies have total assets of over £374 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of over £292 billion, 22% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold over £265 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 18% of all such deposits in the UK. Building societies account for 34% of all cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 40,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 1,550 branches.

Data tables and full report can be downloaded in our stats section.