Positive signals have emerged for the housing market in the first quarter of
2012 with a rise in the number of British homeowners who expect house prices to
climb over the next six months.
According to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey, two out
of three (67%) British homeowners are confident of house prices rising by the
Autumn. This is the highest proportion of homeowners predicting property price
growth since the first half of 2010 and in stark contrast to sentiment at the
end of 2011 when only 55% of owners were predicting prices to climb.
In addition to the rise in overall confidence, homeowners are also more bullish now
about how much they expect average house prices to rise over the next six
months. At the end of 2011, owners expected prices in their local area to
increase 2.2% on average. Over the last quarter this has risen to 3.9% – again,
the highest price growth expectation in almost two years.
Confidence amongst homeowners in London is at a near all-time high with 82% of property owners in the capital now confident of property price rises over the next six
months. And owners in the capital are predicting that house prices in London
will grow 5.5% by October.
There has also been an improvement in sentiment towards mortgage financing with an increase in the number of property owners reporting that it is now easier to secure a mortgage than it was at the end of 2011. 17% of respondents believe mortgage availability has improved, up from 11% last quarter.
Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk commented:
The property market has been in need of some positive news of late as many indicators have pointed toward stagnant prices. These results show that homeowners now feel a lot more positive than at the end of last year and this confidence could bolster transaction and
activity levels as we move further into the year.