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Rock Bottom! Housing market sentiment nears all-time low, say lenders

The Building Societies Association says housing market sentiment remains close to the all-time low.

In a sentiment survey some 47 per cent of respondents said they did not agree that now was a good time to buy a residential property in the UK. This is down from 52 per cent in September.

Some 14 per cent agreed that it was a good time to buy, and 16 per cent said ‘don’t know.’


Almost half of people thought house prices would fall over the next 12 months, and just 16 per cent thought they would rise.

A full 70 per cent were worried about rising energy prices. This was mentioned by 72% of those with household incomes of up to £50,000 and 62 per cent of those earning more than £100,000.

Affordability of monthly mortgage payments was the main barrier to property purchase, cited by 66 per cent of people.

Analysing the findings, Helen Morrissey - an analyst at business consultancy Hargreaves Lansdown - says: “After years of flying high, the market has taken a real bruising with rising living costs and the threat of recession putting a stop to peoples’ plans to buy that dream home, while the prospect of falling house prices mean many people are putting off getting their house on the market.

“Added to this, the mortgage rate turmoil experienced in the aftermath of the mini-Budget scared many people off taking the plunge as they wait to see if rates will come down before they take a chance.

“After years of low rates, mortgage payment affordability is now the main barrier to property purchase - far more so than the traditional barrier of raising a deposit.

“The data shows the difficulties homeowners themselves are facing in meeting their day-to-day basic costs. Energy prices were a major worry for people regardless of salary level – it’s something affecting everyone while rising food prices are also of concern. 

“This will no doubt have knock on effects in that if you are struggling to meet these costs, you are very unlikely to be able to save. With no sign of these pressures easing any time soon, and so very few people thinking now is the right time to buy, we are unlikely to see any real thaw in sentiment.”


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