Buyers confident for 2006

Amanda Jarvis

January 26, 2006

Homebuyers are putting their confidence in the UK housing market this year, with almost 80% expecting average UK house prices to rise over 2006 and only 15% expecting a fall in the average cost of a property, according to a survey carried out by The Homebuyer Show (17 to 19 March, ExCeL London).

These figures show a distinct change in expectation from last year when only a quarter expected the market to grow whilst almost half thought 2005 would see a decline in property prices . This reflects the predictions of the major house price reports from Nationwide, Halifax and Hometrack which are also expecting moderate growth in house prices this year.

Almost two thirds of those questioned stated that they were planning on buying a property in the next 12 months, with half of these planning on buying an investment or buy-to-let property.

However homeowners remain cautious about the rising house prices, logging it at as their third biggest worry after a lack of affordable housing and a change in interest rates.

Nick Clark, manager director of The Homebuyer Show, commented: “The UK housing market seemed to really struggle throughout 2005 with prices and activity down. However with the realisation that a house price crash was highly unlikely, the market has begun to show signs of positive growth and both buyers and sellers are returning to the marketplace. Speculation of a reduction in interest rates should see a further boost in activity which should cause house price inflation over the whole of the UK.”

Favoured hotspots for buyers include London, especially the East of the city around the proposed Olympics sites, the North West of England and the South East including Kent and the Thames Gateway, earmarked by the Government for extensive house building work.

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