Brits' love of property is as safe as houses

July 23, 2009

Bricks and mortar have cemented their place in the heart of the nation despite the economic gloom it was revealed today, as new research from Mintel finds one in three adults believes now is a good time to invest in property.
After relentless doom and gloom, it seems the property bug could well be returning. Today, one in three (32%) Brits believe now is a good time to buy property. Furthermore, despite the significant slump in property prices, just 15% of Brits admit the downturn has put them off investing in bricks and mortar. What is more, today, over half of the nation believe that property is a good long term investment.
“The housing slump may have temporarily shaken people’s faith in property, but bricks and mortar still holds attraction for many. House prices have fallen, interest rates have come down and until very recently, at least, it was a buyers’ market. In comparison, savings accounts are currently offering low rates of return, while stockmarket-based investments are subject to continuing volatility,” comments Toby Clark, Head of Financial Services at Mintel.
“With trust in financial institutions shattered, the chance to bypass the professional investors and to take a hands-on role in managing your own investment makes property investments attractive to many. In today’s market, though, it’s still a risky investment – buy-to-let landlords are currently losing their properties at more than three times the rate of other homeowners. ” adds Toby.
In terms of property as an investment, almost a fifth (17%) of Brits believe getting onto or moving up the property ladder is a good way to save for the future. Today , there are 6 million property investors (12%) in the UK with some form of property investment. As many as 8% of adults own residential property, more than half of these (5%) are properties in the UK, while the remainder (3%) are holiday homes abroad.
Overall, almost one in three Brits (32%) have not ruled out entering the buy-to-let market one day. However, most people who would consider investing in buy-to-let say they would need a mortgage to finance it.
“There remains one key barrier to entering the buy-to-let market – reduced availability of finance. Today, the majority of prospective investors would need a mortgage to buy a second home or rental property. However, the number of available buy-to-let mortgages has been dramatically cut over the past two years, and several lenders have exited the market. ” concludes Toby.
Almost one in ten (9%) people plan to move during the next 12 months, down from 12% a year ago.

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