Property in England and Wales

Over 7.5 million UK adults cancelled property plans last year

Statistics and Reports

As we kick off the new year, property advice website, decided to reflect on the housing market in 2017 and investigate whether homeowner’s plans to move, or buy for the first time, had changed following the unsettled housing market throughout the UK. Thus, utilising a report from the HomeOwners Alliance, Fast Homes found out what regions were ‘most concerned’ about the property market, and what the main reasons granted for cancelling plans were.

In August, it was announced by Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, that annual house price growth had slowed to the weakest rate in four years and the official surveyors’ body said that activity was back to 2011 levels in some parts of the UK. Furthermore, according to property market experts, homeowners who have enjoyed rising house prices over the years should get used to slower rates of growth, or perhaps even a drop in the value of their home.

Due to the somewhat unpredictable housing market, wanted to find out how much of an impact has it had on the UK population and found that more than 7.5 million adults in the UK have paused plans to move in 2017.

When residents were asked why they curbed plans to buy or move last year, answers included increasing house prices, the cost of living and difficulty obtaining a mortgage or re-mortgaging.

However, shockingly, more than 1 million UK adults (one in six) admitted cancelling plans due to the vote to leave the European Union (15%). cited the following reasons for people changing their plans to buy or to move in 2017 include:

  • Rising house prices (26%)
  • Rising cost of living (25%)
  • Difficulty in getting a mortgage or re-mortgaging (25%)
  • A change in needs (24%)
  • Economic outlook for jobs/pay (21%)
  • Brexit vote (15%)
  • Stamp duty (9%)

What region is most affected?

Utilising data from the HomeOwners Alliance, assessed the 12 main regions within the UK, and whether homeowner’s plans to move or buy have changed over the last
12 months since the referendum (June 2016 to June 2017).

The results concluded that the North East were most concerned about the property market, with 27% of homeowners admitting they are less likely to move. The North East was followed by Northern Ireland (21%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (19%).

Fast Homes concluded that homeowner’s in the East Midlands are least affected, with 11% saying they are less likely to move now. Scotland, the South West and London followed, with
13% of homeowner’s likely to have curbed plans to move in 2017.

What age group are most likely to curb plans to move? found that young adults, aged between 18 and 24 years old, are less likely to be affected by property market concerns, with only 11% likely to curb plans to buy or move home.

This tends to increase with age, though, as homeowners (and aspiring homeowners) aged between 25-34 and 45-54 years old are more likely to stay put, with 17% choosing to change
their plans.

  • 18-24 year olds: 11%
  • 25-34 year olds: 17%
  • 35-44 year olds: 15%
  • 45-54 year olds: 17%
  • 55+ year olds: 16%

Commenting on the figures, Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance said:

“Our research demonstrates that both first-time buyers and those who already own a home are choosing to play it safe in these uncertain times. We can expect further uncertainty in the market
until the UK’s future relationship with Europe is more clearly defined. People putting off plans to buy or sell chokes housing supply and generates pent up demand. The housing market needs
certainty in order to be able to function most efficiently.”

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