Housing market confidence warms up after after frosty end to 2010 – Zoopla.co.uk
After almost 9 months of falling confidence and falling house prices, it looks like the property market is now starting to turn a corner. Falling home values have created attractive buying opportunities and with continued low inventory of property for sale, homeowners are increasingly expecting prices to rise in their local area.
We still remain somewhat short of the confidence levels seen in early 2010 but there has been a clear improvement over the previous quarter and this is welcome news.
Key findings from our latest Housing Market Sentiment Survey:
- 59% of homeowners now expect house prices to rise after 8 months of price falls
- Only 1 in 4 expect property values to decline further over the next six months
- Growing confidence leads to a rise in owners planning home improvements in 2011
Three out of five (59%) homeowners in the UK expect house prices to rise over the next six months, according to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey. Confidence in the market outlook has strengthened from its record low at the end of last year when only 54% of homeowners expected prices to rise, but remains some way below the levels seen one year ago when four out of five (81%) expected prices to climb.
Homeowners are also more optimistic about the amount by which they expect house prices to rise in the coming months. According to 7,984 homeowners surveyed by Zoopla.co.uk, house prices are expected to rise by an average of 2.8% over the next six months, noticeably up from the 1.9% predicted three months ago. The number of respondents who expect values to drop over the next 6 months has fallen to 1 in 4 (25%, down from 1 in 3 (33%) in December.
And, in typical British fashion, homeowners remain more confident about the prospects of the value of their own home compared to those of their neighbours. On average, homeowners predict the value of their own properties to grow by 3.2% over the next six months while they expect overall prices for property in their area to rise by only 2.8%.
Improved confidence in the future of the property market combined with the arrival of spring has resulted in a rise in the number of homeowners planning to conduct home improvements over the next six months to 40% of all households. And contributing to the increased confidence in the property market is the feeling that lending conditions are improving, with 12% of respondents stating that mortgage availability is better now than 3 months ago.
The greatest improvement in confidence over the last 3 months has been in Northern Ireland where 57% of homeowners now expect house prices to rise over the next six months, up from only 42% three months ago. In England 59% of owners expect house prices to rise up from 55% three months ago and in Wales 54% expect prices to climb, up from 49% three months ago. In Scotland confidence remains unchanged from December when 63% of those surveyed expected house prices to rise over the next six months.
- Zoopla.co.uk invited registered users to participate in this survey which was fielded from 21st to 28th March 2011.
- There were 9,231 total respondents. 7,984 of these were homeowners. Statistics based on a sample of this size are accurate to within +/- 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