Number of Prospective House Buyers drops due to threat of rising interest rates and house prices - say Halifax

The number of people seeking to buy homes is swiftly diminishing due to a range of factors including spiralling house prices, exorbitant deposits and the threat of rising interest rates, according to a survey from Halifax.
The survey assessed the number of people who would be keen to buy over the next twelve months. According to Halifaxís quarterly Housing Market Confidence tracker, the average number of people who believe the time is ripe for house purchase has plummeted to 5% from 34% in the second quarter of the year. Trepidation was particularly high in South London and its surrounding areas, as consumers shut up shop in light of price hikes and looming interest rate rises.
The survey also showed 7 in 10 people believe house prices will rise over the next 12 months, in accordance with price developments up to this point ñ price growth over the 12 months leading to June stood at 8.8%, according to Halifax.
Halifax identified a steep increase in the number of people who adjudge rising prices to be inhibitive to house purchase. A 35% of people, compared with last yearís 15%, declared their apprehension towards the issue. The number of people perturbed by a potential interest rate hike increased to 18% from 13% last year too, amidst signs the housing market is cooling.
These signs include a drop in buyer inquiries and mortgage approvals over the past two months.
Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: ìOver the past two years consumer confidence has continued to grow, however it appears that we've reached a tipping point, with the equilibrium between buyers and sellers much more out of sync.î
Seller's Market
Although buyers are at their most apathetic since the inauguration of the survey in 2011, seller confidence appears extremely high, with roughly 25% of people in the survey concurring that the time is right to sell.
McKinlay stated: ìPeople believe that itís a good time to sell but not buy, particularly in London and the South East where house price expectations are generally higher and buyers appear to be less inclined to rush into buying a property as we have seen over the past 12 months.î