Bricks and mortar still the safest bet, says TV’s Jenny

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MORE than a third of people in the West Midlands say that the credit crunch has made no difference to how they view the property market.

The survey, commissioned by the nation’s largest independent housebuilder Miller Homes, polled over 5,000 new and potential home buyers across the UK to gauge their confidence in the property market.

Almost half of those surveyed in the West Midlands say they are more cautious about debt but just 19 per cent say they are prepared to accept an inferior home to get into less debt.

Nearly eight per cent of the regional population is still willing to borrow the maximum amount possible to get the home of their dreams.

A quarter of people in the West Midlands say they are planning to move home within three years – most to get more space (57 per cent) with just three per cent putting the move down to necessity of work relocation.

And location isn’t everything – 31 per cent of us would move to get a bigger garden but just 18 per cent to live in a better neighbourhood.

Sue Warwick, national sales and marketing director for Miller Homes, which commissioned the survey, said: “The results of show that, despite endless negative reports about the property market, people still want to move and remain relatively unaffected by harsh headlines and horror stories about the fall of the property market.”

People in the West Midlands also still believe property to be the soundest long term financial investment in the UK.

Virtually half say that it is where they would choose to put their money over ISAs (23 per cent), stocks and shares (17 per cent) and bonds (11 per cent).

TV property presenter Jenny Powell said of the findings: “There is still a real appetite for people to buy new homes and in my view, bricks and mortar is still the safest long-term investment by far.

“The survey results echo this, proving that people still have faith in property as a sound investment and the best place to put their money.

I think that buyers will welcome this positive news – it feels good to know that it’s not all doom and gloom out there.”

Despite the optimism uncovered in Miller Homes’ buyer barometer survey, fears over mortgage lending and gathering enough deposit still concern new buyers.

Around 63 per cent of first time buyers stated that the recession had rendered them less likely to purchase a new home in the current climate – with 21 per cent blaming Gordon Brown for their situation.

Sue added: “This is further evidence that the banks simply have to ease their overly strict lending criteria to help further time buyers achieve their property dreams.

“As the saying goes, an Englishman’s home is his castle and with an overwhelming number people in our poll still placing their faith in property ownership as a sound investment, it is important that everyone who wishes to buy can do so.”

Miller Homes has a portfolio of new homes developments in a range of prime locations across the West Midlands. For more information, please call 0870 336 4814 or go to