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July 6, 2010    

Mortgage fears erode housing market confidence

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by Gill Montia

Concerns over mortgage finance are gnawing away at confidence in the UK housing market, according to Zoopla.co.uk.

In a recent survey by the property website, 78% of respondents expected house prices to rise by the end of the year, down from 81% three moths ago.

Thirty four per cent of those questioned named a shortage of mortgage finance as the biggest continued threat to the market, with 27% of respondents saying it is now harder to get a mortgage than three months ago.

Potential interest rate rises and the impact of job losses in the public sector were also seen as concerns by 25% and 21% of respondents respectively.

Zoopla commercial director, Nicholas Leeming, comments: “The fear remains that the revival in the housing market will be derailed unless the banks make a concerted effort to increase lending.”

He adds: “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.”

The average participant in Zoopla’s survey expects house prices to rise by 5.5% between now and the end of the year, with the Scots the most optimistic over the prospects for their local housing market and residents of Northern Ireland the gloomiest.

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