"All major barriers" to home ownership falling

All of the obstacles to buying a house, such as raising a deposit or a lack of job security have fallen according to research by the Building Societies Association (BSA).

Raising a deposit is still cited as a major problem by 52% of the 2,000 respondents, but this has dropped from 59% as surveyed in September.

Among the other barriers mentioned, 32% believe the affordability of mortgage payments is a barrier, a 2% drop. Access to mortgage finance is cited by 38%, a 3% drop and a lack of job security is cited by 26%, down from 28%.

Amongst other barriers, stamp duty increased in its perception, with 13% seeing it as a problem compared with 10% in September.

The report states: “The survey was conducted shortly after the Autumn Statement, so people may have been impressed by the Government’s announcements on housebuilding.

“It may also be a reflection of increasing lending activity in the mortgage market. The Bank of England’s monthly figures show strong year on year growth in the second half of the year. Within this, BSA data shows that building societies have maintained a strong market share.”

Paul Broadhead, BSA Head of Mortgage Policy said: “This snapshot of sentiment in the housing market shows that consumers are feeling reasonably optimistic about getting on or moving up the property ladder.

“Awareness of Government schemes, such as Help-to-Buy and the new Help-to-Buy, London plus the availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages helps to bring choice and competition to the market. Housing generally needs to remain a top priority for the Government.

“Now is the time to focus on building more homes, supported by appropriate investment in infrastructure, in order to begin to address the long term imbalance of housing supply with demand.

“Innovative mortgage products and intermediate forms of tenure must also be championed – not just by building societies – but by all lenders, the regulators and government.

“This will go some way to delivering a sustainable housing market which caters to the needs of a wide range of credit worthy consumers, not just those with ‘vanilla’ borrowing requirements.”

Today's Conveyancer