Released today, the BSA Property Tracker survey results reveal that:
- House price expectations have picked up significantly, now 40% think prices will rise
- Housing market sentiment is in positive territory for first time in three years
- Both housing market optimists and pessimists cite UK’s EU withdrawal for their stance
- COVID-19 currently a relatively minor concern for those pessimistic towards the market
House price expectations are on the increase. Four in 10 people think property prices will rise in the next year - up from 28% in December. Just 17% think prices will fall in that time - down from 26% in December.
Housing market sentiment is positive for the first time in three years. The net figure (those who disagree minus those who agree that ‘now is a good time to buy’) stands at +2% which is up from -8% in December, and is the first time this figure has been positive since March 2017.
Brexit (46%) and the General Election result (41%) are the main reasons behind among those with increased optimism when asked whether ‘now is a better or worse time to buy a property than three months ago’.
Interestingly, those who are more pessimistic towards the market than in December specified the same reasons behind their answer - Brexit (64%), the worsened economic environment (42%) and the General Election result (33%).
Just over a quarter (28%) of people that are more pessimistic now than in December said this is due to concerns over COVID-19, coronavirus.
Paul Broadhead, BSA Head of Mortgages & Housing comments:
“It is encouraging to see housing market sentiment pick up in the first Property Tracker survey of 2020. Here’s hoping the trend continues.
“The polarisation of the nation when it comes to both Brexit and last year’s election means it is hardly surprising that these key events are behind why people think it is a better - or indeed worse – time to buy a property than it was three months ago.
“We will be keeping a weather eye on the impact coronavirus has on the housing market. Reassuringly, these results show that, for now, it is a relatively low concern for people in terms of the housing market. People who are concerned about the coronavirus and meeting their mortgage repayments are encouraged to speak to their lenders.”
Notes to editors
Data tables for the standard questions can be downloaded here.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2053 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 28th February - 2nd March 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
About the BSA
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.