Last month’s drop in inflation to 0.5% has coincided with a steep drop in the number of consumers viewing an interest rate rise as a barrier to buying property in 2015.

Halifax’s Housing Market Confidence Tracker found that the proportion of consumers citing concern about rises in interest rates as a property buying barrier increased steadily from 14% in Q4 2013 to 19% in Q3 2014. This figure, however, fell to 13% in Q4 2014 – around the same time inflation began to dip.

“Speculation over a potential rate rise was high on the news agenda at certain times in 2014 and the Market Confidence Tracker showed consumers becoming increasingly anxious about interest rate rises,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.

Ellis pointed out that a rate rise will happen eventually and when it does mortgage lenders will take this into account as part of their affordability checks. He said that going forward borrowers will need to manage their disposable income in order to adjust to any rate changes.

According to Halifax, the largest single barrier to buying a property is perceived to be the ability to raise a deposit (61% of Britons said this in Q4 2014). This is followed by job security, household finances and rising property prices.

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