Brexit: UK housing market confidence plummets according to new survey

Brexit: UK housing market confidence plummets according to new survey

Confidence in the UK housing market has slumped according to an annual survey conducted by economic consultancy ING. 

The survey, called Homes and Mortgages 2016, quizzes almost 15,000 people in 15 countries about their attitudes on the housing market. 

The most dramatic shift from previous results was seen in the UK, where expectations of rising house prices fell prior to the EU referendum; when the question was repeated after the Brexit vote, the fall was even greater. 

So the percentage of UK respondents who felt house prices would rise in their area in the following 12 months has changed from 72 per cent in 2014 and 70 per cent in 2015, to just 57 per cent this year.

The survey also found that 26 per cent of UK respondents felt low interest rates had pushed up house prices where they lived.

Poor affordability was an issue across the 15 European countries in the survey. In general, high house prices led to 24 per cent of respondents saying they had difficulty paying the higher-than-expected mortgages they had to take out. 

"Across Europe, expectations that house prices will rise has hit a plateau, but people are still finding that the house prices where they live are expensive. It's worrying that this is increasingly leading them to delay important life decisions, such as postponing retirement, changing jobs or having more children," says Ian Bright, senior economist at ING. 

"Even more concerning is the realisation that most do not expect this situation to change because most people expect house prices to keep rising. This is a Europe-wide problem and not restricted to one or two countries, with few seeing any light at the end of the tunnel."

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