Mortgage worries hit property confidence

The percentage of people expecting house prices to go up over the next six months has dropped from 81% three months ago to 78% this month.

77% of people surveyed by said mortgage availability had not improved over the past three months and 27% said it is now harder to get a mortgage than it was in May. 34% of people said they felt getting a mortgage was the biggest obstacle preventing them from buying a property.

25% of consumers think rising interest rates will hit the housing market hard and another 21% said they feared public sector job cuts would have a negative impact on the health of the property market.

Scotland seems to have better than average optimism with 85% of Scots saying they think house prices will improve in their area, compared to 79% in England and 73% in Wales. Just 67% of people in Northern Ireland said they thought prospects for the property market looked bright.

Nicholas Leeming, commercial director of, said: “Confidence amongst homeowners remains high for the time being, but the dip does signal a directional shift as concerns are building again around the outlook for the property market.

“The fear remains that the revival in the housing market will be derailed unless the banks make a concerted effort to increase lending. With job cuts looming in the public sector and interest rate hikes expected at some point, the new government has its work cut out for it to ensure that home ownership remains affordable and attainable for most people.”