Zoopla's latest State of the Property Nation report reveals what buyers, sellers and estate agents expect to happen to house prices in 2020.

Confidence is slowly returning among homebuyers, according to our annual Zoopla State of the Property Nation survey.

Over a third of buyers actively searching for homes are looking to move within the next year - up 8% since 2017. But sellers are still cautious about putting their homes up for sale, with 31% worried they won't get their asking price.

Buyers become more confident while sellers still wary

While finding properties within budget and in the right location continues to be a challenge for buyers, the good news is there's been a 5% fall in the number of frustrated home-hunters in the past 12 months.

Finding the right location is less of a challenge for first-time buyers. Their main obstacle to becoming a homeowner is affordability: 50% perceive saving for a deposit as a challenge while 43% are concerned about securing a mortgage. But in reality, first-timers make up the largest buying group outside London and the South East, with 40% market share.

More space is the main motivation for moving home

‘Moving to a bigger home’ is the prime motivation for buying a new home, particularly among young families with 39% eager to upsize in the same area.

But over a third, or 36%, of empty-nesters are keen to 'move to a new location', often with the intention of moving closer to family.

Man searching online for a new home

Confidence is slowly returning to the housing market

There's been a modest increase in the number of people actively looking to buy, sell or rent a property. Of these active property seekers, 32% say they are more serious about moving than ever before - an increase of 11% on our State of the Property Nation survey last year.

Meanwhile, first-time buyers remain the largest buyer demographic outside of London and the South East, with a 40% market share.

Andy Marshall, Chief Commercial Officer at Zoopla, said: "With the property market, it’s easy to focus on the hard data like the number of sales, but it’s also important to scratch under the surface to understand what is motivating people to make a move.

"We are seeing a polarisation of the market. Confidence is slowly returning among buyers, but this is moderated by a feeling of caution among sellers, with ongoing economic uncertainty causing them to doubt whether they will achieve the asking price they believe their property is worth.

"The good news is that increasing numbers of people are active in the property market and that those seeking a new property are serious about making a move."

Top 3 takeaways 

  • Buyers are growing in confidence while economic uncertainty breeds caution among sellers

  • Upsizing and the need for more space is the biggest motivation for homebuyers in 2020

  • A growing number of people - 8% more than in 2017 - are actively looking to buy

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 Zoopla’s annual State of the Property Nation surveys 6,000 people and over 650 sales and letting agents.

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