UK Finance Household Finance Review: ‘Recovery from flat 2019 could be stopped in its tracks by coronavirus’ – comment

John Phillips, national operations director at Just Mortgages, commenting on the UK Finance ‘Household Finance Review’ released this morning, said: “The figures released today by UK Finance confirm what we already knew – that the market was at best flat over 2019 as a whole. While loans to first-time-buyers were down only modestly (a fall of 0.6%), this was in spite of various measures aimed at supporting that sector, and homemovers were clearly deterred by the ongoing political uncertainty around Brexit, with loans down 2% over the year.

“As more recent figures have shown, we began to see an upward turn towards the end of the year, and so far this has continued into Q1 2020 with buyers and vendors coming back into the market in strength. There is every reason to believe that with political uncertainty resolved to a degree, there is a real recovery on its way.

“The fly in the ointment now is the coronavirus. People’s health is the number one priority but we also need to minimise disruption to everyday life as this could have serious knock-on effects for people’s livelihoods in all walks of life. There’s a real risk it will stop the recovery its tracks.”