More than 80 per cent of Londoners think house prices are too expensive and overwhelming majority believe it is becoming increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder, according to new research released today.
The Dutch banking giant ING’s house price optimism index, which surveys over 15,000 people, found that the majority of European consumers (56 per cent) believe that prices will rise over the next 12 months, with confidence up by three percentage points from last year.
However higher costs are putting a strain on consumers, with an increasing number – 26 per cent compared with 28 per cent last year – struggling to pay the rent or mortgage each month.
UK consumers were less bullish on house prices than last year, with 70 per cent expressing confidence that they will rise over the next year, down from 72 per cent in 2014.
However some 89 per cent of believe conditions for first-time buyers are worsening as a result, despite help from the Help to Buy scheme and other government measures.
Overall, even though over half of Britons say they can easily pay their mortgage or rent, 55 per cent still think prices are too expensive, jumping to 82 per cent in London.
For Europe as a whole, the number of people who think that current prices where they live are too costly has risen to 61 per cent.
Nevertheless, people continue to put their faith in bricks and mortar, with the survey showing that Brits are the most likely (21 per cent) of all Europeans to rely on their home for their pension.
ING senior economist, Ian Bright commented: “House prices are on the up in many European countries and consumers remain bullish that this will continue. As a result, we’re seeing more people viewing property as an important financial asset – including countries where renting is the norm – but there is also frustration with property being increasing unaffordable.“