Jim Buckle, managing director of Propertyfinder.com, today hit out over the state of the economy. More and more people, he says, are worried for their jobs.
He warned: "There is no justification whatsoever for the MPC to increase interest rates. The economy is already under enough pressure. Fear of unemployment has risen sharply, spurred by the high-profile collapse at Rover. With consumer confidence shaky and higher taxes likely to take another bite out of incomes, growing job insecurity is the last straw."
His comments came as Propertyfinder.com's April survey showed confidence in the housing market slipped sharply with 64 per cent of respondents saying they expected prices to fall over the next 12 months, compared to 48 per cent in March.
57 per cent of pessimists blame fears of rising interest rates, the highest level since August 2004, when rates went up to 4.75 per cent.
Overall, they expect prices to slip 7.7 per cent over the next 12 months compared to a drop of 2.6 per cent in March.
In October last year, just 4.4 per cent of respondents said that rising unemployment would contribute to their negative view on the housing market. By January, this had risen to ten per cent and by April, 22 per cent said they believed rising unemployment would put the housing market under pressure.
Harvey Williams, national and regional spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "With inflation rising to its highest point in nearly seven years during March, scaremongers may suggest that this meeting could see the first hike after a period of stability.
"However, after the devastating blow of Rover's demise, this would be a kick in the teeth for the region's economy. "