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Public optimistic about housing market despite feeling worse off

UK consumers feel worse off than a year ago, but remain relatively optimistic about the property .

That’s the conclusion of a poll by legal consultancy Dye & Durham, which surveyed 2,151 UK adults to explore trends in the economy, the property market and technology.

Almost half of respondents confirm their finances are in a worse place than they were 12 months ago, with only 16 per cent of people suggesting their finances have improved. 


Those aged between 35-54 are feeling the most financially vulnerable, with just over half confirming that their finances have been negatively impacted compared to 2022. 

The bulk of this group – 59 per cent of those 35-44 and 58 per cent of those 45-54 – also say owning their home has become less affordable.

While sentiment about personal finances has dipped, consumers’ plans to purchase or sell properties over the next year have not experienced the same downward pressure. In fact, there are signs of optimism. 

A separate Dye & Durham survey conducted in the UK in March 2023 found 10 per cent of UK respondents were planning to delay property purchases to wait for lower interest rates or asking prices. That’s down to five per cent today.

Similarly, the new survey found that two per cent of respondents sold their primary residence and purchased a new one in the past 12 months, but three per cent plan to do the same in the next 12 months.

“It’s clear that many people in the UK continue to be affected by the tough economic conditions, with rising bills and high interest rates making people feel financially worse off,” says Martha Vallance, Chief Operating Officer at Dye & Durham. 

“This has had a knock-on effect for many industries as transaction activity has declined, including the legal industry that we operate in. 

“However, as rates begin to hold – and eventually decline – we expect to see a significant upswing in areas like real estate transactions, business originations and others that should help legal firms bounce back from a slower-than-normal year.”

Overall, 58 per cent said they would consider moving to find a lower cost of living – specifically almost a quarter said they would look at a more affordable town or city in their current county. 

This was more apparent in some areas of the country, such as the East of England and London, where 29 per cent and 27 per cent respectively, would look at moving to an alternative location in their current county.


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