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Confidence divided in housing market

Robyn Hall

July 28, 2014

The Confidence Tracker indicates that of those surveyed, 57% feel it will be a good time to sell in the next 12 months, exceeding those who think it will be a bad time (32%). This is the highest score of this measure since the survey’s inception in April 2011, making a net balance of +25 compared with +12 in Q4 2013 and -6 in Q3 2013. Sentiment towards selling is even stronger among owner occupiers with 63% stating that now is a good time to sell.

In contrast, the proportion of respondents who feel that now is a good time to buy has fallen to a net balance of +5, a fall of 29 points in the last quarter. This is the largest fall in this measure since the tracker’s inception in 2011. Positive sentiment fell by 16 points among owner-occupiers between Q1 and Q2 2014 (now at 53%) and those in London and the South East are the most negative.

Positive sentiment towards selling is highest in the East and South East, where 65% think it will be a good time to sell, compared with only 36% who say this in Scotland.

Overall net balance of respondents thinking that in the next 12 months it would be a good time for people to sell a property less those who think it will be a bad time for people to sell a property

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Over the past two years consumer confidence has continued to grow, however it appears that we’ve reached a tipping point with the equilibrium between buyers and sellers much more out of sync.

“The results highlight the regional variations as now people believe that it’s a good time for to sell but not buy, particularly in London and the South East where house price expectations are generally higher and buyers appear to be less inclined to rush into a buying a property as we have seen over the past 12 months.”

The report reveals a sharp rise in the number of people identifying rising prices as a barrier to buying – now at 35% (up from 20% a year ago), Concerns about rises in interest rates is on an upward trajectory (up from 13% a year ago to 18%) but, still, deposit-raising remains the biggest perceived barrier (mentioned by 55%).

Overall net balance of respondents thinking that in the next 12 months it would be a good time for people to buy a property less those who think it will be a bad time

Seven in ten British adults (71%) predict the average UK house price will rise over the next year; with 30% expecting it to rise between 5% and 10%, and 15% who think the rise will be even higher. 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) remained relatively stable at +66 (compared with +65 in Q1 2014).


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