Homeowner confidence increases on property prices

Homeowners are also more optimistic about the amount by which they expect house prices to rise in the coming months.
They expect house prices to rise by an average of 2.8% over the next six months, noticeably up from the 1.9% predicted three months ago. The number of respondents who expect values to drop over the next six months has fallen to one in four (25%), down from one in three (33%) in December.

And, in typical British fashion, homeowners remain more confident about the prospects of the value of their own home compared to those of their neighbours. On average, homeowners predict the value of their own properties to grow by 3.2% over the next six months while they expect overall prices for property in their area to rise by only 2.8%.

Improved confidence in the future of the property market combined with the arrival of spring has resulted in a rise in the number of homeowners planning to conduct home improvements over the next six months to 40% of all households.

And contributing to the increased confidence in the property market is the feeling that lending conditions are improving, with 12% of respondents stating that mortgage availability is better now than three months ago.
The greatest improvement in confidence over the last three months has been in Northern Ireland where 57% of homeowners now expect house prices to rise over the next six months, up from only 42% three months ago.

In England 59% of owners expect house prices to rise up from 55% three months ago and in Wales 54% expect prices to climb, up from 49% three months ago. In Scotland confidence remains unchanged from December when 63% of those surveyed expected house prices to rise over the next six months.

Nicholas Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk, said: "After almost nine months of falling confidence and falling house prices, it looks like the property market is now starting to turn a corner.

"Falling prices have created attractive buying opportunities and with continued low inventory of property on the market, homeowners are increasingly expecting prices to rise in their local area. We still remain somewhat short of the confidence levels seen in early 2010 but there has been a clear improvement over the previous quarter and this is welcome news."

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