House buyers optimistic on prices

Following on from last months report from Nationwide, which illustrated house prices had remained surprisingly resilient with a rise of 0.4 per cent

on the average UK house in November. December’s consumer price forecast from Rightmove revealed around two thirds of people looking to move home have opposed the current trend of economic gloom by predicting that house prices will hold steady or increase over the next year.

The property analyst website surveyed 25,000 potential home buyers and had found just three in ten of people asked were pessimistic about UK house prices. 66 per cent of those anticipating price falls, had done so due to having little or no confidence in the economy, a rise of 13% in relation to the figures in the start of 2011.Of those who expected house prices to be higher, 39 per cent put this down to increased confidence in the economy, while just under a third also thought the mortgage market would improve and there would be shortage in the supply of properties into the housing market.

Director of Rightmove, Miles Shipside said “The public’s belief in the value of bricks and mortar seems to defy the deteriorating economic situation. This is a clear message that the majority of consumers view the property asset class to be as ‘safe as houses’ in these times of economic uncertainty.”

At a national level, home movers in London were the most positive about house prices in their area with 29 per cent expecting prices to be higher in 12 months. This increase in confidence within the capital is encouraging news to us as a London mortgage broker. Across Britain 22 per cent of people believe prices will go up and 41 per cent believe they will remain the same. Wales was the most pessimistic area with more than a third (35 per cent) predicting prices to drop.

Confidence within the property market is reported to be patchy across regions within the UK according to Rightmove, with 26 per cent in Preston expecting uplift in house prices by the end of 2012, in contrast to the 12 per cent only 20 miles away in Lancanster. Miles Shipside said “Although the majority view at a national level is that the UK housing market will avoid price falls in 2012, local variations highlight how patchy confidence can be depending on an area’s housing mix and wealth demographics.”