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Cautious optimism over housing market

Cautious optimism over housing market

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 16/12/2011
First Published: 16/12/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Consumers remain quietly confident about the prospects for the housing market despite the troubled economic outlook.

According to the Building Societies Association (BSA), consumer confidence in the market remains remarkably stable, if far from booming, even though dark clouds loom on the horizon.

Indeed, 44% of respondents to the Property Tracker survey believe that now is a good time to buy a house, compared to 25% who do not.

In March, 41% were positive about buying and 29% were negative.

However, the survey also revealed that only 12% intend to buy next year, 63% have no need or desire to move in 2012, and 17% claim they will not be in a position to move.

Cited as the most common barrier to making a purchase next year is raising the deposit necessary to buy (64%).

Other factors putting prospective buyers off include obtaining a large enough mortgage (57%) and fears over job security (54%).

Meanwhile, opinion is divided over what will happen to house prices in the coming year, with 33% expecting a rise compared to 28% who think they will fall.

One in five (20%) think they will stay the same.

"Although there has been a stream of gloomy economic news recently, and the uncertainty about the Eurozone has increased dramatically, consumers' views on the housing market remain remarkably solid," said BSA head of mortgage policy, Paul Broadhead.

"Many people believe that it is currently a good time to buy, and about one in eight will be looking to enter the market or move in 2012, especially in London where 21% intend to buy.

"Government policy announcements such as the new build indemnity scheme indicate how important the housing market is to the UK economy, so the fact that confidence is not weakening is reassuring."

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