Consumer confidence surges 7pc

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Consumer confidence has reached its highest level since the beginning of the global financial crisis.

According to Genworth’s Homebuyer Confidence Index, which measured homeowner sentiment from a sample group of 2,124 mortgage holders, sentiment jumped from a record low of 93.4 in March 2013 to 100.1 at the end of July 2013.

“The spike in consumer confidence recorded since March was driven by a 37 per cent decrease in the proportion of surveyed borrowers who expected to experience mortgage stress over the next 12 months,” Genworth’s chief commercial officer Bridget Sakr said.

“It appears that consumers are becoming more confident about making repayments, with the index showing that 29 per cent of homeowners expected interest rates to decrease over the next 12 months – compared to 12 per cent who held this expectation in March.”

But despite the jump in confidence, it seems housing affordability is still stopping many potential home owners from jumping on the property ladder.

“Research showed that 80 per cent of non-property owners considered it unrealistic to save a 20 per cent deposit. Also, 34 per cent of prospective first homebuyers believed that affordability may be an impediment to achieving their goal,” Ms Sakr said.

“The latest Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index suggests that homeowners realise that current market conditions – particularly historically low interest rates – make buying property and servicing a mortgage a more attractive proposition than it’s been for a number of years.

“However, affordability remains a challenge for those yet to enter the market, with 70 per cent of non-property owners believing the dream of homeownership to be unrealistic.”

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