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Housing market confidence outweighed by unemployment fears

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by Gill Montia

The latest Property Tracker Index from the Building Societies Association demonstrates that Britons have become cautiously optimistic about the UK property market.

In a survey of 2,242 adults conducted between 4th and 8th June 2009, the average prediction for house price changes in the coming year was for a rise of 1.4%.

The result compares refreshingly with an average fall of 6.1% in March and a predicted decline of 7.1% in June of last year.

In addition, the proportion of respondents confident that now is a good time to buy rose to 59%, up from 54% in March and just 27% in June 2008.

However, fear of redundancy continued to put up a barrier with 61% of respondents citing this as their main concern when considering a house purchase. The proportion is unchanged from March.

BSA analysts therefore conclude: “With many commentators expecting unemployment to continue to rise well into next year, and with perceived restrictions on mortgage availability, it is likely that this will serve to limit any recovery in the housing market.”

The Association’s head of mortgage policy, Paul Broadhead, comments: “People clearly recognise that with both property prices and mortgage rates having fallen, there are potential bargains to be found … however, for many, concerns over job security mean that they are unlikely to actually go ahead and buy.”

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News posted: June 18, 2009

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