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All signs point to housing stagnation in 2012

All signs point to housing stagnation in 2012

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 26/01/2012
First Published: 27/01/2012

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All signs are pointing to a stagnant UK mortgage market in 2012, new research suggests.

The generational divide in the UK property market is likely to cause housing stagnation in 2012, with young people unable to buy and older homeowners unwilling to sell, according to HSBC.

The constraint on new property coming onto the market – cited as one of the main reasons why house prices held relatively firm in 2011 – looks as if it will continue in 2012, with just 12% of people thinking about moving or getting on the property ladder over the next six months.

Of those householders not looking to move, 61% of people aged 55 and over said it was because they are happy with their current property, compared to just 28% of those aged 34 and under.

And while this containment continues to limit new stock coming to market, stagnation is likely to be prolonged by the financial obstacles young Britons believe are stopping them from making a move.

Of those people aged 34 and under who are not planning to buy or sell a property, the main reasons include having an insufficient deposit (29%), concern about not getting a mortgage (15%) and fears about employment prospects (14%).

While financial concerns were a factor for many young people staying put, 10% said they simply did not wish to own a home, suggesting a reverse in the home ownership aspirations of this age group.

"Our research suggests that the current economic climate is of particular concern to younger people who either want to get on the housing ladder or move on to a larger property," said Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC.

"All this supports the prediction of the Council of Mortgage Lenders that lending will fall this year."

As other research has also found, London continues to outperform the rest of the nation, with much of the market in the capital seemingly untroubled by the problems affecting the rest of the UK .

In fact, the picture for Londoners appears relatively buoyant, with 18% of people thinking of buying and / or selling property of one sort or another in the next six months.

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