Some 40 per cent of Britons still think that property is the best investment for generating returns, according to a survey commissioned by spreadbetting and CFD provider InterTrader.
Amid a growing distrust in the UK financial system, the survey, which polled over 2,000 British adults, also revealed that over half (55 per cent) of Britons would consider playing an active role in managing their investments, with 38 per cent of respondents saying they do not trust financial professionals to generate positive returns with their money.
The findings are released amid growing concerns that the UK is experiencing a ‘property bubble’, especially in London and the South East. The UK government’s Help to Buy Scheme has come under criticism in particular for fuelling the boom and misleading British property buyers, by giving the impression that the government will provide ongoing lending support to homebuyers amid plans to withdraw the Scheme earlier than planned. In spite of these fears, the survey revealed that 30 per cent of Britons think investing in property will be even more popular in 2019.
Steve Ruffley, chief market strategist at InterTrader, says: “The UK housing market boom, especially in London and the South East, is completely unsustainable. By artificially stimulating demand for property in a supply-constrained market, it will actually become even more difficult for the next wave of buyers to get a foothold on the housing ladder, as persistently low interest rates from the Bank of England and rising consumer confidence cause house prices to soar. Additionally, banks are now increasing the availability of riskier mortgages to compete with the government scheme, reporting a surge in the availability of mortgages requiring lower deposits last year.
“Britons need to take control of their investments. It has been bred into the UK population that property is the best investment. In fact, a wiser investment strategy might be to build out a diversified portfolio which could protect you in case any one of your investments loses value. Investors can’t wait around and cross their fingers that property prices will keep on rising. Active investments in shares, bonds, and even currencies and commodities offer one of many alternatives and can be simpler than you think. Using an investment strategy that spreads risk means that your life savings might not be decimated in one swoop.”