I had an interesting chat with an estate agent the other day, hearing his views on the state of the local housing market.

Having lived in our current house for 12 years, we're starting to think about making the next move up the property ladder; the kids could do with another bedroom as they get older, and my wife isn't a fan of the large oak trees that surround our garden, blocking out a lot of natural light.

The trouble is, our local property market isn't exactly 'dynamic'. We keep the occasional eye on property sites like Rightmove and, at the best of times, there is only ever a handful of houses for sale which meet our needs (and budget!).

I asked the estate agent whether he thought political and economic uncertainty, which started with the global financial crisis back in 2008, is putting people off from selling and buying homes.

He agreed but thought that people would soon experience 'uncertainty fatigue' and make that next move regardless.

Time will tell whether he is right and we get a little more choice in the local property market; the building of 1,300 new homes in our 4,000 home village in the coming years might get things moving a little too!

What we are seeing on a national level is low levels of consumer confidence, falling again following the recent general election produced a hung parliament.

According to the report, a decline in optimism over house prices and "continuing slow puncture of people's household financial situations" were both contributing to this fall in consumer confidence.

We shouldn't underestimate the importance of consumer confidence as a leading indicator.

Whilst leading indicators are not always the most accurate way to predict future changes to the economy, falling consumer confidence has a greater degree of reliability than other measures in foreshadowing difficult economic times ahead.