One in five UK consumers do not associate buying a property with taking a financial risk, despite concerns interest rates are likely to increase later this year, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
According to the CML lender's market briefing for March, a whopping 18% of adults in Britain believe there is NO risk whatsoever attached to owning a home.
Only 4% say they are concerned the house might lose value over time, with just 10% saying they are losing sleep over increasing interest rates.
The result is worrying, the CML says, because while the Bank of England decided to leave rates unchanged at 4% today, CML members warn they will almost certainly rise later this year.
Current CML forecasts suggest the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will wait until the third quarter of this year to increase rates. However, there are signs this might happen earlier, suggests the trade body as the interest rate peak might be higher than the expected 4.5%.
"The Committee has been expecting house price growth to moderate and if this does not begin to happen, or borrowing remains high, the MPC might bring forward any rate decision," says the CML.
Another aspect that should concern homeowners, the CML adds, is the government's plans to implement several changes to the housing market later this year.
The CML says Gordon Brown will - in his Budget out on March 17 - consider a range of potential ways of stabilising the housing market, such as increasing stamp duty and the introduction of Capital Gains Tax on property.
"Any intervention could have a market affect on the housing market," the CML adds.
That said, 81% of adults in the UK are still hoping to own their own home in ten years time, while 20% of those surveyed see the investment potential of the property as the primary reward for buying a home.IFAonline
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