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Good time to buy property, say consumers

A total of 43% of consumers believe it is currently a good time to buy a property, the December edition of the Building Societies Association Property Tracker survey shows.

But 26% thought the outlook for the housing market is bad and 24% neither thought it good or bad.

A year ago 58% agreed it was a good time to buy.

A third of people think house prices will rise in the next year with 36% believing they will fall.

While 38% of respondents thought that properties in their area were over-priced, with 25% believing that properties were over-valued by 10% or more.

Most people would not wait long to enter the market, if they were able to.

A total of 59% would buy immediately or within the next year, given sufficient resources, and a further 11% would buy in the following 12 months.

And 12% would wait for two years or more.

This suggests that even if prices are due to fall, most people expect them to bottom out within the next one to two years.

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage policy at the BSA, says: “Although the housing market remains uncertain, the public does not expect house prices to fall as dramatically as they did two years ago. As such, many expect that the best time to enter the market will be in the next year or so.

“However, barriers remain that might prevent potential buyers from acting on these perceived opportunities. Worries persist about job security, the ability to raise a deposit, and obtaining a mortgage from lenders. These factors might inhibit demand for house purchase from growing as strongly as it might.”

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