Public split on house price direction

Nia Williams

March 11, 2011

The results of the company’s monthly confidence tracker survey reveals that 37% of respondents believe that house prices will rise over the course of the year whilst 35% are of the opinion that prices will remain static. 28% indicated that they are expecting prices to fall during this time.

The survey, which was conducted throughout February, also revealed some interesting figures on the subject of interest rates, a subject which has begun to receive a great deal of media attention in recent months. A huge 77% of those who took the survey believe that rates will increase during the next 12 months, although two thirds of these are not expecting any more than a half percent increase in total. This lends weight to the market expectation that rates are set to rise relatively soon. Interestingly, 5% indicated that they anticipate a further reduction in interest rates during this time.

Overall, confidence in both domestic and overseas property continues to ride high with 72% of the opinion that right now is a great time to buy a property in the UK. 77% feel that this is also a good time to make a foreign property acquisition and this represents the first time since the survey began in August 2009 that overseas property has received a higher confidence rating that the UK. 69% indicated that they are currently considering an overseas purchase with the United States still firmly in the number one spot.

69% of those who responded to the survey placed property as their first investment choice, some way ahead of gold in second place with 22% of the vote.

Commenting on the survey results, managing director of the Worldwide Property Group, Kevin Wilkes, said: “The results of this survey show that, in general, people are expecting house prices in the UK to further consolidate during the course of the year. The UK market has fared pretty well during the recent economic storm with minor declines compared to the likes of some other countries, the USA and Spain being obvious examples. The continuing stability of UK house prices is good news and I don’t foresee this being impacted in anyway by minor rises in interest rates.

“Affordability for first time buyers has improved substantially in the last few years, whilst for second home buyers there has not been a better time for many years to make that purchase. For property investors there is currently a whole world of unbelievable opportunity.”

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