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Half of homeowners view affordability as the main challenge for the property market in 2023

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Half of homeowners (55%) think affordability is the biggest issue facing the property market in 2023 according to new research from The Mortgage Lender (TML).

Within TML’s research, homeowners expressed their concern about the impact the rising cost of living is having on the housing market. Buyers and sellers have halted plans leading to a cooling off period in the market. Indeed, sales in December 2022 dropped 3% on the previous month as high interest rates and the cost-of-living impacted buyers’ plans

Instability within the UK economy has also prompted concerns among homeowners (43%), as well as rising interest rates (48%), resulting in higher mortgage payments for many borrowers.

Concerns over affordability within the market are impacting how homeowners feel about their current properties and living arrangements. Affording household bills (37%) and mortgage payments (21%) came out as top concerns for homeowners, while a further 15% were worried they would not be able to move to a better property or area in the future. 11% are also concerned that their children or other family members will live with them longer than they’d like as affordability issues within the market particularly hampers first time buyers.

Limited supply in the market (13%), the cost of construction services and goods (12%) and improving energy efficiency within homes (16%) were also among many of the priority issues for homeowners.

To address these issues, homeowners have shared what they would most like to see from the government to support the property market. 34% called for more cost-of-living support from the government, while 30% would like to see more support in make energy efficiency improvements. 39% want to see interest rates lowered to help with reducing monthly mortgage payments, while 22% also want to see more help for first time buyers to get onto the ladder.

Steve Griffiths, Chief Commercial Officer comments: “The cost of living continues to dominate the mind’s of consumers as many worry not only about their current financial situation but also what it will mean for the future property plans. While house price growth may be slowing, inflation and interest rates are higher than many will have seen in their lifetimes This combined with limited wage growth mean that the affordability gap is widening, and moving onto or up the property ladder remains a significant challenge.  

While there is light on the horizon with mortgage rates starting to come down, they will for some time be higher than many have been used to. Speaking to a mortgage broker early will help homeowners understand their options, and which lender is the best fir for their income and affordability situation.

This research was conducted between 6th January and 10th January 2023 when 2,000 UK adults (18 and over) were surveyed online.