Homeowner confidence hits four-year high

25th October 2013

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The vast majority of UK homeowners expect house prices to rise over the next six months, a record four year high of positive market sentiment.

According to a survey from property website Zoopla just 4% of homeowners anticipate that house prices will fall over the period, while 89% forecast a rise.

Lawrence Hall, market expert at Zoopla, called this confidence a “bedrock” for healthy property transactions.
He says:
”Mortgage lending is on the rise, first-time buyers are returning to the market, and the second phase of the Help to Buy scheme should help boost confidence further across the country and not just in London.

“All of this bodes well for a healthier market and could lead to more and more transactions, which in turn will create a more sustainable market.”

The research found that some two-thirds of property owners say that evidence of sales in their local area is why they think the market is on the up, believing this could encourage many of the sellers who may have been biding their time until they see an improvement in the market.

Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, says: ‘While the economy is turning a corner, it’s important not to get too carried away as there is still a long way to go.

“The danger of over-reaction to a house-price bubble is that any confidence in the market is extinguished just as it is establishing itself. Lending volumes and house prices are still well below pre-crisis levels and while they are improving, it will take a while to get back to those levels – if indeed this happens at all.”

But according to Zoopla there is little sign of concern about a bubble among homeowners, who on average predict a 5% rise in prices over the next six months, with
London being the main driver of that growth

Some 97 per cent of the survey’s respondents expect a rise, with an average increase of 8.3% anticipated. The study found that homeowner confidence in the property market remains significantly higher in the South, although all eleven UK regions saw an increase in the number of homeowners expecting a house price rise.

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