Experts may be concerned about the UK property market overheating, but it seems Britons are relatively relaxed over a possible price bubble. The Building Societies Association (BSA) Property Tracker revealed just two per cent of consumers fear another crash, while one in five describe the market as 'recovering'. Just one per cent characterised the market as 'crashing', with a fifth calling it 'stable'.
The findings of the tracker indicate buyer sentiment is on the up, creating a positive environment for property investment. Just over 60 per cent of consumers believe house prices will rise over the year - the highest percentage since the tracker began in 2008. What's more, perhaps a testament to the success of recent government schemes, the major perceived barriers to property purchase have declined. This includes access to mortgage finance, which is now only seen as an obstacle by 39 per cent of those surveyed. This is down from 46 per cent three months ago and 60 per cent in 2011.
Optimism is also improving thanks to the wider availability of mortgages for first-time buyers will smaller deposits. In the first seven months of the year, a quarter of all mutual lending was to people with a deposit of ten per cent or less. Funding for Lending and Help to Buy, while the main causes of overheating concern, are working to quell fears over market instability among Britons.
Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: "Signs of recovery in the market have been much discussed over the summer and these Property Tracker results confirm an improved outlook. We are however, still clearly in recovery mode; and the cautious words of those who have been sounding warnings about a market already at risk of overheating need to be listened to, but it would be wrong to take any steps at this point that might damage the recovery in its early stages."
To avoid a bubble, BSA claims the government must have a defined exit strategy for Help to Buy. However, until then, improved mortgage lending conditions are helping to get the property market back on its feet and encourage activity among prospective buyers and sellers.
- Wednesday 18 September 2013