More Confidence Returns To The Housing Market

Date Published 24 July 2013

Confidence in the housing market has risen significantly over the past three months, according to the latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker.

The tracker reveals that the headline House Price Outlook balance (i.e. the difference between the proportion of people across Britain that expect the average house price to rise rather than fall) stood at +40 in June. This was an increase of 7 percentage points compared with last quarter (+33) and was the highest score on this measure since the tracker began in April 2011.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: `Sentiment regarding the outlook for house prices has improved markedly over the past quarter, continuing the trend seen since late 2012.

`This increase in optimism is partly due to house prices being stronger than expected in the first half of the year. We continue to see a clear north / south divide with significantly higher proportions of people expecting prices to rise in the south than elsewhere in the UK.

More than half (52%) of British adults predict the average UK house price will rise over the next year – an increase of 7 percentage points since March and 25 points since June 2012. Londoners are the most optimistic with nearly three-quarters (73%) expecting a rise.

The various initiatives designed to stimulate the market such as the funding for lending scheme, New Buy and Help to Buy equity share schemes appear to be working which is encouraging.
Now, with the rise in those believing that it will be a good time to sell, just under a quarter (23%) believe that it will be a good time to both buy and sell over the coming 12 months. This compares with 16% three months’ ago.

Mentions about being able to afford a deposit increased significantly over the past quarter with 64% of respondents highlighting this as one of the main barriers to buying a home compared with 67% in Q1 2013 The proportion identifying concerns about job security has stayed unchanged at 58%.
More people expect the average house price to rise than fall over the next 12 months in all regions.
While all regions have become more optimistic since the last survey, those living in London are the most optimistic with an overall net balance of +69, followed by the South East (+52) and the East of England (+49). In contrast, those living in the North West (+23), East Midlands (+25) Wales (+25) and Yorkshire and Humberside (+26) are the least optimistic.

London (41%) has the highest proportion of respondents who think that it will be a good time to sell during the coming year. In contrast, only 9% in Scotland believe that it will be a good time to sell.