According to the BSA Property Tracker survey in December just over a quarter of respondents, 26%, disagreed that now was a good time to buy property in the UK, broadly the same as September but much higher than just one year ago.
In contrast, 43% do believe it is a good time to purchase property, broadly the same as in the previous two quarters, but less than a year ago when 59% thought it was a good time to buy.
As has been the case for the last year or so, about a quarter of respondents did not agree nor disagree, suggesting that considerable uncertainty continues to pervade the UK housing market.
A substantial proportion of respondents believe that property remains over-valued and although average house prices are currently about 12% below their late 2007 peak, based on the Nationwide index, many believe that the properties in their area are still over-valued. 25% thought that they were overpriced by 10% or more, unsurprisingly homeowners were less likely to think that properties were over-valued compared to non-owners. 50% of those currently renting or living rent free thought properties were over priced, to some extent, with a third of homeowners, 33%, holding the same opinion.
Homeowners were more likely to cite a lack of job security as a hindrance to property purchase. 58% of those that owned their home selected this as a factor, which was similar to the 56% renting from the council or a housing association, but much greater than the 38% of those currently renting privately that were concerned about job security. Those renting privately tend to be younger, so may be more flexible or mobile in the labour market.
House prices have dropped since their peak in 2007, and concerns over future falls remain high compared to the first half of 2010, this was the opinion of 26% of respondents. However to put this in perspective this is substantially lower than two years ago when 40% thought future price drops were a good reason not to buy.
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