Market confidence returns

Nia Williams

January 5, 2010

This is a marked turnaround from just one year ago, the low point for housing market confidence, when only one in five homeowners were optimistic about the house price outlook.

Of the 10,732 respondents to the survey, 81% expected that home values will rise, with only 10% expecting values to fall over the next six months. The average growth predicted amongst those surveyed is for house prices in their area to increase 5.4% over the next six months whilst, somewhat unrealistically, they expect their own home value to rise by 5.7% over the same period.

Housing transactions show an 87% correlation to the Zoopla.co.uk Confidence Index, lagging movements in confidence by around three months, which indicates that transactions volumes are likely to rise in the coming months. But, confidence alone is not enough to boost activity in the housing market and much depends on the availability of mortgage funding. 75% of those surveyed claimed that it is no easier now to get a mortgage than three months ago, placing the onus on lenders to work to increase confidence and help further lift the transaction volumes.

Commenting, Nicholas Leeming, commercial director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: “This time last year, confidence in the property market was at rock bottom and the outlook was bleak. But, a year is a long time in the housing market and, whilst the recovery is still in its infancy, optimism is now back to levels not seen since the credit crunch began in 2007. The shortage of homes for sale has prevented any improvement in transaction levels over recent months but with increased confidence amongst owners about putting their homes on the market to match the pent-up demand from buyers, we could see a welcome boost to the recovery of the housing market.”

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