Further price rise hopes spark home improvements

Homeowners are expecting UK house prices to rise by an average of 8.8% between now and September, almost twice the rate of increase predicted at the same time last year, according to the latest Zoopla Housing Market Sentiment Survey.

The survey of 4,972 UK homeowners by Zoopla found that a record 95% of homeowners expect house prices to rise over the next six months, up from 74% this time last year. 3% of those surveyed stated that they expect prices to remain flat over the next six months and only 2% predict house prices will fall over that period, down significantly from 13% one year ago.

In anticipation of expected strong pricing gains, 42% of those homeowners surveyed plan to carry out home improvements over the next 6 months. And stronger confidence in the housing market has also led to a sharp increase in those planning to move. Almost one third of homeowners (31%) are planning to buy a property in the next 12 months, up from 22% in January.

Londoners remain the most bullish about the health of the property market, with 97% of homeowners in the capital expecting house prices to rise further over the next six months and predicting average price growth of 12%, a third higher than the wider national average.

In a positive sign for the wider market, the largest jump in confidence was found in Wales where the proportion of owners who expect property prices to increase over the next six months has risen from 85% to 92% in just 3 months.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk commented: “Homeowners across the country are going one step further this year and planning to invest in more substantial home improvements. As properties receive more and more viewings from interested buyers, smart sellers are seeing all the signs of strong demand in the market and are looking to capitalise on potential capital gains to be had.”

“UK homeowners are expecting house prices to rise at a higher rate than ever before, and this confidence in the property market recovery is finally filtering out of London and across the UK. With prospective sellers eager to take advantage of a buoyant market and buyers wanting to snap up the best properties before they slip out of reach, indications suggest the market will remain strong over the coming months as increased supply and buoyed confidence drives activity on all rungs of the ladder.”

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