Housing market confidence stabilises in Q1

by Gary Whittaker

Confidence in the UK's housing market has stabilised after the EU referendum result saw it go into freefall. The Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker has found that confidence levels have seen an increase in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the last quarter of 2016, which is a positive sign.

According to the tracker, around 58 per cent of people are expecting to see house prices increase over the next 12 per cent, which is a stark difference to the 14 per cent expecting to see them fall. 

The findings are based on the Ipsos Mori survey, which included 1,958 adults in the UK aged over 16 and was conducted between March 23rd and April 3rd. It showed that confidence in the housing market saw a slight increase in October. However, it was well below the levels of optimism that were seen after the General Election in 2015, which saw 72 per cent say they expected price increases.

Those who are expecting to see house prices rise in the next 12 months are also predicting more modest increases. Some 30 per cent of people are expecting prices to rise by up to five per cent, which is higher than the 26 per cent who thought the same in October.

Despite the positive results in terms of housing market confidence, the survey also found that people are losing confidence in the UK economy as a whole. There are now 28 per cent more people expecting to see worsening conditions over the next 12 months.  

Housing economist at Halifax Martin Ellis said: “House price optimism is little changed since the October 2016 measure, which is significant because it was the first post-Brexit survey and recorded the steepest fall since the tracker began.
 
“The latest results suggest that consumer confidence in the housing market is potentially settling into a new lower ‘normal’.

“This sentiment echoes the slowdown in the annual rate of house price growth, which has more than halved over the past 12 months.”

As well as general confidence in the housing market, 52 per cent now think that the next 12 months will be a good time to sell, compared to 47 per cent in October. This could present some great opportunities for landlords looking to expand their portfolio this year.

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21-April-17General Lettings News