Property market confidence soars to new high

UK homeowners predict house prices will rise 7.2% between now and summer, up from 5.7% just three months ago and from 3.2% this time last year, making it the most upbeat forecast in four years, according to the latest Zoopla Housing Market Sentiment Survey. 

The survey of 7,796 UK homeowners by Zoopla found that 92% of homeowners expect house prices in their area to rise over the next six months, up from 65% last year and the highest proportion on record.

Only 3% of homeowners predict house prices will fall over the first half of this year, down from 19% at this time one year ago.   The survey further revealed that as homeowner confidence is buoyed, there has also been an increase in those considering buying a property over the next six months in the first half of 2014 – up to 22% from 19% back in September.

Londoners remain the most optimistic about the state of the property market, with 98% expecting a further rise in property values in the capital during the first half of the year and predicting average price growth of 9.6% over this period, above the national average of 7.2%.   In a positive sign for the broadening out of the market recovery, the most significant jump in confidence can be found in the North with Yorkshire and The Humber and the North West where the proportion of owners who believe property prices will increase over the next six months has risen from 84% to 88% in just 3 months.

At the other end of the spectrum, homeowners in Wales are the least bullish on house prices currently, with only 85% of homeowners predicting a rise in property prices by June.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk commented:

“Across the country, homeowners are starting the New Year far more positive about the health of the property market. Early indicators suggest that we can look forward to a busy first few months to 2014, as current levels of confidence are likely to fuel more transactions. With 2013 characterised by the wave of government initiatives to lure first-time buyers onto the property ladder, 2014 could well be the year we see activity levels increase significantly.”

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