Press release

General Election adds to uncertainty weighing on housing market confidence

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

  • Brexit & General Election result are two of the biggest risks to the housing market

  • Housing market sentiment remains negative, but more people think prices will rise

  • Energy efficiency of homes is important – and 1 in 4 people think the Government should take responsibility for it

Brexit (selected by 43%) and the General Election result (30%) pose two of the biggest risks to the stability of the housing market in 2020, respondents say. A rise in the cost of living (36%) and weak economic growth (30%) are also significant perceived risks.

Yet people are a little more optimistic when it comes to house prices: 28% expect them to rise over the coming year, up 5 percentage points on this time last year.

The biggest barrier to homeownership remains raising a deposit (62%) which is relatively unchanged from September 2019(60%).

The majority of people (77%) consider energy efficiency an important factor when buying a home. A quarter of people (25%) think that the Government should be responsible for improving UK homes’ energy efficiency, 17% think energy companies and 42% say responsibility lies with homeowners. However 50% of homeowners say the costs associated with relevant improvements present a barrier- Over half (54%) say council tax reductions would incentivise them to make their homes more energy efficient.

Paul Broadhead, BSA Head of Mortgages & Housing comments:

Paul-Broadhead-image.jpg“Political uncertainty has dogged housing market sentiment for some time, so it is unsurprising that it continues to play an adverse role. With a clear path still not set for Brexit, and with next week’s Election making an impact, market sentiment has remained negative since June 2017.

“Raising a deposit continues to be the biggest barrier to homeownership. With the Help to Buy ISA now closed to new applicants, it will be interesting to see how the new Government addresses the issue of helping people onto the property ladder, along with the wider housing crisis. Those who have missed the deadline could still receive Government support to buy their first home by opening a Lifetime ISA (LISA).

“Elsewhere, the BSA’s sector-led Green Task Force has been set up to work across this critical topic in a bid to make ‘going green’ as seamless as possible. The importance placed on energy efficiency in the Property Tracker results confirm that the task force has been established at the right time.”

Press contacts

Amy McCluskey, tel: 0207 520 5928 email:
Hilary McVitty, tel: 0207 520 5926 email:

Notes to editors

The Property Tracker survey is conducted quarterly by YouGov Plc for the Building Societies Association.

Total sample size was 2,012 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  22nd - 25th November 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 6 credit unions. Building societies have total assets of £420 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages over £330 billion, 23% of the total outstanding in the UK. They hold over £290 billion of retail deposits, accounting for 19% of all such deposits in the UK. Building societies account for 38% of all cash ISA balances. They employ approximately 43,000 full and part-time staff and operate through approximately 1,470 branches.

Data tables for the standard questions can be downloaded here:


The BSA Team

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