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Confidence in housing market falls to lowest level in a year

12th January 2012

…although majority of homeowners still expect house prices to rise in 2012.
  • 55% of homeowners now expect prices to rise over 6 months, down from 59%
  • Average price growth prediction falls from 2.7% to 2.2% over last 3 months
  • London continues to buck national trend with far greater housing confidence

Fewer British homeowners expect house prices to rise over the coming months than at any point in the last year, according to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey. The proportion of homeowners who now expect to see house prices climb in their local area over the next six months stands at 55%, down from 59% just three months ago.

Even though the majority (55%) of homeowners in Britain still predict an increase in property prices over the first half of 2012, the amount by which they expect them to grow has also fallen to its lowest level in a year, according to the survey by Zoopla. The average prediction is for prices to rise only 2.2% over the next six months, down from 2.7% one quarter ago.

Interestingly, homeowners surveyed continue to believe that their own properties will fare better than the average and expect the value of their own property to rise by 2.8% on average over the next six months compared to 2.2% for other homes in their local area. Similarly, only 24% of homeowners expect the value of their own property to fall over the coming six months whilst 29% expect house prices in their area to fall.

In stark contrast to the overall national picture, homeowner confidence in the London housing market continues to defy the rest of the country and the overall economic outlook. 72% of London homeowners expect average values in the capital to rise over the next six months, up from 68% last quarter. And owners in the capital now predict property prices to grow by 4.7% over the first half of 2012, up from the 3.6% expected last quarter.

Whilst half (48%) of the respondents felt that the key sign that the property market is improving would be when mortgage availability improves, only 11% of the homeowners surveyed by Zoopla feel it is now easier to get a mortgage than it was three months ago.

Nicholas Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk, commented: “There is a lot of general economic uncertainty at the moment which is taking its toll on homeowner confidence. Until there is some good news on the overall economy, homeowners will continue to be cautious with their optimism for the property market. Londoners, however, are living in a market detached from the rest of the UK. Many overseas buyers continue to pile into London property to take shelter from economic or political storm clouds elsewhere which is helping to boost prices and confidence in the capital.”

- Ends -

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

Notes to editors

Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

Zoopla Limited, The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH
Registered in England and Wales with Company No. 09005884
VAT Registration number: 191 2231 33
Data Protection number: Z9972266

Methodology

  • Zoopla invited registered users of Zoopla.co.uk to participate in this study.
  • The survey was fielded from 29th November to the 4th December 2011.
  • There were 5,192 total respondents. 4,707 of these were homeowners. Statistics based on a sample of this size are accurate to within less than +/- 1.0% 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.

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