1 in 3 think it is a good time to buy a property

It suggests that buyers may be starting to think about returning to the market since just 27% of respondents thought so in June’s survey. However, despite the optimism of some people, almost half of respondents (48%) disagreed that it was a good time to purchase property. To this group, the prospect of future property price falls was the most significant barrier to buying, and was chosen by 64% of these people.

Overall, the BSA’s Property Tracker survey reveals that the main barriers to buying property at present were considered to be access to a large enough mortgage or access to a mortgage at all (selected by 57% of respondents), affording the monthly mortgage repayments (54%), concern about future property price falls (51%) and raising a deposit (42%).

Lack of job security, while still one the more minor barriers to house purchase, had increased in importance to represent a concern for 28% of respondents, up from 12% in June, indicating how rapidly confidence in the economic outlook can deteriorate.

Potential homebuyers are not more likely to buy as a result of the Government’s recent measures aimed at supporting the housing market. Stamp Duty costs were considered a barrier by just 11% of the public, which possibly explains why 90% of potential homebuyers said the Government’s measures would not encourage them to buy in the next year.

Commenting on these findings, Adrian Coles, Director General of the BSA said: “With property prices falling for several months now, a number of potential buyers may believe the bottom of the market has been reached, and so are seeking to pick up a bargain before prices rise again.

“The effect of wider economic factors are evident in preventing the majority from seeking to buy though, with the tightening of lending criteria across all lenders, the squeeze on household finances from fuel and energy inflation, and the prospect of further falls in house prices all being viewed as major barriers to property purchase.”