As agents scratch their heads about the ongoing decline in property sales in the UK, one answer to what’s going on has been revealed in research released today by the Building Societies Association (BSA).
Its BSA Property Tracker reveals that 27% of respondents within the survey thought it was not a good time to buy a property, and explains why; among home movers 38% were concerned by Stamp Duty costs and among first time buyers 68% worried about saving to raise a deposit.
Personal finances are also a factor in putting off home purchasers and movers; 40% of those surveyed worry about the rising cost of living and 28% about the difficulty of saving for the future.
“Confidence in the housing market is clearly fragile. Consumers were faced with political uncertainty following the vote to leave the EU and unexpected General Election results, and now the rising cost of living is their latest challenge,” says Paul Broadhead, Head of Mortgage Policy at the BSA.
“Consumer prices are running ahead of wage growth, and there is little evidence of this changing in the short term. This is adding to the formidable affordability constraints already facing prospective home buyers.
“It is evident that home-movers are facing the same affordability pressures as first-time buyers, meaning some homeowners are unable to sell their property – further reducing choice and pushing up prices for those just getting on to the housing ladder.”
The latest Land Registry House Price Index reports shows sales in England down by 3.3% year on year, although there are wild variations from area to area – for example in the City of London the number of homes sold over the past 12 months has dropped by 55% while in West Somerset they have increased by 70%.
- City of London: -55.6%
- Dartford: -39.9%
- Tower Hamlets: -38.6%
- South Norfolk: -38.2%
- Lichfield: -36.4%
- Blaby: -36.3
- Uttlesford: -33.9
- East Hampshire: -32.9%
- Islington: -31.9%
- Lewes: -31.8%