More homeowners are feeling confident about buying a new property this year, but first time buyers are still struggling to get on the property ladder, reveals new data.
The latest Housing Market Confidence Tracker from Halifax, covering the last quarter of 2015, shows that the proportion of homeowners who think 2016 is a good year to buy and sell property has increased to 39%, up 3% on the previous quarter. Meanwhile, 15% believe the next 12 months will be a bad time to do both.
However, first time buyers may still struggle to purchase a home, as deposits are considered the greatest barrier to getting on the property ladder.
Saving a deposit was named the main obstacle to buying a home by 58% of people, followed by job security at 42%.
The number of homeowners identifying rising house prices as a barrier to buying a property has grown to 37%, up 6% on the previous quarter, and the highest this figure has been since the survey began.
As an interest rate rise does not seem likely in the near future, it is unsurprising that the number concerned about increases has dropped by 5%, to 11% of respondents.
The Mortgages Director at Halifax, Craig McKinlay, comments: “Difficulties in raising a deposit, concerns about job security and high property prices remain the main barriers to people buying a home. The proportion identifying rising prices has risen to the highest in the survey’s history.
“The decline in affordability that this highlights is expected to dampen housing demand and property price growth over the medium term.”1
In separate research, estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains found that the number of first time buyers dropped by almost 5% in December.
The firms predict, using their own data, that first time buyer numbers dropped by 1,300 to stand at 26,600 over the past month.
During the last 12 months, the amount of first time buyers rose only slightly, by 1.1%.
The average first time buyer paid £156,406 for their first home, although this does not reflect significant regional variations.
In London, the average first time buyer property was £343,686.