Mortgage access better but consumer confidence still in the doldrums Go compare with our comparison table

Mortgage access better but consumer confidence still in the doldrums

16 September 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Despite access to mortgages gradually improving, consumer confidence in the housing market has fallen, according to the latest figures from the Building Society Association.

Replying to the BSA Property Tracker Survey, the number of people who do not think that now is the right time to buy a property has increased from 21 per cent in June to 26 per cent in September.

Mortgage affordability is being helped by a record low base rate, and more lenders are tentatively welcoming first time buyers back to the market with higher loan to values, but many remain too cautious, or are unable to purchase.

Behind consumers' lack of confidence in the housing market is job security and deposits, with 56 per cent of respondents saying that concern about unemployment is keeping them from buying a house, and 56 per cent also said that they were unable to gather a big enough deposit.

Commenting on the results, Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at the BSA, said: "It is clear that concerns about future falls in property prices are having a significant impact on consumer confidence."

The survey also showed that consumers' attitude to mortgage accessibility has increased, rising from 57 per cent in March to 50 per cent in September, but Mr Broadhead said that concerns about job security will remain a barrier to house purchase "until there is greater confidence in the strength of the economy."

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