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Housing market confidence hits two and a half year high

- But strong concerns remain over the availability of mortgage financing -

6th Apr 2010

  • 81% of homeowners believe UK property values will rise over next six months
  • Homeowners predict that average house prices will increase 5.7% 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

Four out of five (81%) UK homeowners think that property prices will continue to climb over the next six months, according to the latest Housing Market Sentiment Survey from leading property website, Zoopla.co.uk. Optimism around the housing market outlook is significantly improved from one year ago, when less than one third of homeowners (30%) expected house prices to rise.

According to the survey, only 9% of homeowners believe that property values will fall over the next six months whilst a further 10% expect prices to remain flat. The average growth predicted by those surveyed is for house prices to rise by 5.7% 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%) of those surveyed saying that it is now no easier to obtain a mortgage than it was three months ago. And the upcoming election is also a clear factor in terms of current market activity with almost a quarter (23%) of those surveyed stating 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% expecting house prices in their area to rise over the next six months, compared to 80% in England and 76% in Wales. The picture is somewhat less optimistic in Northern Ireland, with only 62% predicting house prices will rise over the next six months.

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: "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."

For the full set of results, please visit Property News.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to editors

Methodology

  • Zoopla.co.uk invited registered users to participate in this study
  • The survey was fielded from March 15th to 23rd 2010
  • There were 7,497 total respondents. 6,877 of these were homeowners. Statistics based on a sample of this size are accurate to within +/- 1.2% with 95% confidence, if the sample is drawn at random from the population it intends to represent
  • These respondents represent the perspective of the Zoopla.co.uk user community, and could be considered to represent the population of people interested in the UK residential property market
  • All statistics are based on the full sample unless otherwise noted

About Zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla.co.uk is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering consumers with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help our users make sense of the residential property market by combining property listings with market value data, local information and community tools.

Zoopla.co.uk was founded on the principles of transparency and efficiency and everything we do aims to make the market more effective for both property consumers and professionals alike. By combining free, instant value estimates for every UK home with sold prices, local market information and hundreds of thousands of properties available for sale and to rent, Zoopla.co.uk has rapidly become the ultimate destination for property consumers to search for property and do their market research. Our unique features allow users to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else. And, as a result, we have become one of the most valued sources of both applicant and vendor leads for UK estate agents.

Launched in 2008, we are the fastest growing property website in the UK, now attracting over 12 million visits per month and are proud to have been awarded numerous accolades including being listed in the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta 100) as well as being voted the UK's Best Property Portal (Web User, Daily Mail Awards, Website of the Year).

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company with a highly experienced and proven management team, led by Founder and CEO, Alex Chesterman, and backed by well-respected angel investors and leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture (atlasventure.com) and Octopus Ventures (octopusventures.com).

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