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Biggest housing concerns driven by affordability issues

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Leading property finance specialists, One 77 Mortgages, has looked at what concerns are still weighing heavy on the mind of UK home buyers and sellers and how this has changed over the last few years.

According to Statista, issues of affordability dominate the greatest concerns within the market with the financial hurdle for first-time buyer the most prominent for 89% of adults, up 4% since 2015.

Despite a slow in the rate of price growth since the Brexit vote, house prices are still the second biggest concern for 88% of adults, also up 4% since 2015, with saving for a deposit the next biggest concern for 87% of adults.

While the availability of housing isn’t a direct concern, the imbalance of housing stock to meet demand does cause an inadvertent increase in house prices and finding a house to actually buy is the fourth biggest concern at 81% – up 9% since 2015.

However, with almost record low-interest rates, concerns of mortgage affordability have dropped. While the ability to get a mortgage and the further task of paying it off is still the fifth and sixth biggest concern, they have dropped by 8% and 3% respectively since 2015.

Progression up the ladder and the quality of housing available (63%) are the next biggest concerns, while despite the lower fees presented by online and hybrid agents, recent failures by those using the model mean that estate agent fees remain a concern (59%), up 2% since 2015.

The leasehold scandal that made the news in 2016 sees the leasehold/freehold system of the UK property market rank as the tenth biggest concern at 53%, increasing by a notable 11% since 2015.

Amongst some of the other concerns sited are property and solicitor fees (52%), the home buying and selling process (51%), the availability of suitable housing for the over 60s (40%), stamp duty (38%), negative equity (36%) and gazumping (34%).

Managing Director of One 77 Mortgages, Alastair McKee said, “It makes sense that wider influences of affordability outside of the control of home buyers and sellers are amongst some of the biggest concerns within the property market and with prices still on the up despite wider political uncertainty, this is likely to remain the case for the future.

“It’s interesting to see that mortgages still rank rather high and I think this is down to a lack of understanding around the sector as a whole rather than the actual issues of affordability in gaining a mortgage. Yes, the deposit is an initial hurdle that must be overcome but currently, the affordability of mortgage products is the not only the best it has been in a long time, but we’re also seeing the longest sustained period of affordability in a very long time.

“For those that are concerned about getting or paying a mortgage, it always pays to consult a whole of market broker. They will be able to get you the best quote for your personal situation and of course, a fixed term will ensure that you secure that rate for the foreseeable future in case there are any knee-jerk rate increases in the coming months.”

Housing concerns in the United Kingdom (UK) 2015-2018
Housing concern levels according to the United Kingdom (UK) adults from 2015 to 2018, by main issue 2015 2016 2017 2018
% % % %
Ability for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder 85 84 89 89
House prices 84 83 86 88
Saving for a deposit to buy 86 84 85 87
Availability of housing 72 78 80 81
Ability to get a mortgage / remortgage 78 72 75 71
Being able to pay off the mortgage 71 72 69 68
Being able to move up the property ladder 63 65 63 63
Quality of housing 57 60 64 63
Estate agent fees 57 56 61 59
Leasehold / freehold system 42 45 52 53
Property / Solicitor fees 52 51 55 52
Homebuying / Homeselling process 51 52 54 51
Availability of housing for over 60s 45 40
Stamp duty rates 46 44 42 38
Negative equity 47 42 40 36
Gazumping 38 34



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