One in five homeowners believe that house prices will rise during the next half of the year.
Optimism around the housing market outlook has significantly improved from one year ago, when less than one-third of homeowners (30 per cent) expected house prices to rise.
With the bad weather behind us and the recent stamp duty relief introduced for first-time buyers, confidence in the property market has bounced back well. Despite the optimism, significant concerns remain around the supply of mortgages and whilst affordability levels are now higher than at any time in the past few years the lack of mortgage funding, especially for first-time buyers, remains the single biggest threat to a full housing market recovery.
– Housing market confidence hits two and a half-year high
– Strong concerns remain over the availability of mortgage financing
– 81 per cent of homeowners believe UK property values will rise over next six months
– Homeowners predict that average house prices will increase 5.7 per cent by Autumn
– Only one in five potential buyers say that mortgage availability is improving
– Scots are most confident about property market recovery, N Irish far less so
The survey also reveals only 9 per cent of homeowners believe that property values will fall over the next six months whilst a further 10 per cent expect prices to remain flat. The average growth predicted by those surveyed is for house prices to rise by 5.7 per cent by October.
The current level of optimism bodes well for market activity, with transaction volumes expected to rise significantly over the coming months given the historically high correlation between the confidence level in the Zoopla.co.uk Survey and market activity approximately three months later.
However, the availability of mortgage financing remains the main obstacle to a sustained improvement in the housing market with four out of five (78 per cent) of those surveyed saying that it is now no easier to obtain a mortgage than it was three months ago.
When considering the election almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those surveyed stated that they will wait to assess the outcome of the election before making any property-related decisions.
Across the UK, the Scots are most upbeat over the prospects for the local property market, with 86 per cent expecting house prices in their area to rise over the next six months, compared to 80 per cent in England and 76 per cent in Wales. The picture is somewhat less optimistic in Northern Ireland, with only 62 per cent predicting house prices will rise over the next six months.
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