Consumer confidence reaches 8-month high
A third (33%) of consumers expect property prices to increase by up to 5% in the next 12 months, while a further quarter (25%) anticipate an increase between 5% and 10%.
Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “We’ve seen a strong start to the year in terms of the net sentiment regarding the outlook for the housing market, and this has translated into an increase in transaction volumes.
“This increase in optimism is likely to be the result of a combination of factors, including the improving economic figures, greater numbers of higher loan to value mortgages, and extremely competitive mortgage rates.”
More people expect interest rates to increase over the year, but fewer (12%) see rate rises as a significant barrier to buying a property.
Commonly homeowners see raising a deposit (61%) and problems with job security (44%) as the greatest barriers to getting on the housing ladder.
Craig McKinlay added: “The results highlight that an increasing number of consumers believe interest rates will begin to rise in the next 12 months, but at the same time it is falling as a perceived barrier to homeownership.
“This is perhaps a result of rising incomes and the current low mortgages rates. The fact that consumers’ ability to raise a deposit remains the greatest perceived barrier to homeownership shows there is more work to be done in terms of letting people know what support is now available.”
On a regional basis confidence in house price increases was strongest in the South West and weakest in Scotland.