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Housing market confidence falls sharply

...as mortgage drought shows no sign of easing

5th October 2010

  • Number of homeowners expecting house prices to rise falls sharply from 78% to 63%
  • 1 in 4 now expect property prices to fall further, up from 1 in 10 three months ago
  • 89% say it is no easier to obtain mortgage financing now than it was 3 months ago

Confidence amongst homeowners about the outlook for the property market has fallen sharply amid growing concerns over the availability of mortgage finance, according to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey. The survey reveals that only 63% of homeowners now expect property prices to rise over the next six months, compared to 78% of homeowners three months ago, showing a staggering decline in confidence in the housing market.

According to the survey of 6,149 homeowners by property website Zoopla.co.uk, which combines property search with property research, the average growth predicted for house prices in the next six months has also dropped to only 3% from 5.5% three months ago. And the number of respondents who expect property prices to fall over the coming six months is up sharply to 1 in 4 (25%) from 1 in 10 (11%) only three months ago.

Interestingly, the Zoopla.co.uk survey results reaffirm that homeowners in the UK view their home as their castle. Whilst 25% of those surveyed said they expect house prices in their local area to fall over the next six months, only 21% expect the value of their own home to fall over the same period. And whilst the average rise in values was predicted as 3% for the local neighbourhood, homeowners surveyed expect their own homes to rise by 3.4% on average indicating that they expect their own home to perform 13% better than their neighbours.

The survey also shows that the severe shortage in the availability of mortgage finance is having a detrimental effect on the health of the property market and consumer confidence with 9 out 10 respondents (89%) stating that it is now no easier to get financing than it was three months ago.

Across the UK, the Scots remain the most upbeat with 71% expecting house prices in their area to rise over the next six months, but this is down from 84% three months ago. In England optimism has fallen the hardest with 62% predicting a house prices rise compared to 79% three month ago. And the Welsh are the most pessimistic on the chances of local property prices rising in the next 6 months with only 61% of Welsh homeowners predicting an increase versus 73% three months ago.

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: "The ongoing mortgage drought has started to have a real impact on consumer confidence, with optimism about the outlook for the housing market dropping sharply. The shortage of funding on offer is preventing many people who do want to buy from being able to purchase a home, particularly first time buyers. Increasing activity levels is vital for the health of the property market, and the wider economy in turn, and the banks must pull out all the stops to increase lending."

- Ends -

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

Notes to editors

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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