By Daniel Hunter
Confidence in the housing market has risen significantly over the past three months, according to the latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker.
The tracker reveals that 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) stood at +40 in June. This was an increase of 7 percentage points compared with last quarter (+33) and was the highest score on this measure since the tracker began in April 2011.
“Sentiment regarding the outlook for house prices has improved markedly over the past quarter, continuing the trend seen since late 2012. This increase in optimism is partly due to house prices being stronger than expected in the first half of the year. We continue to see a clear north / south divide with significantly higher proportions of people expecting prices to rise in the south than elsewhere in the UK," Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, commented.
“Nonetheless, the market still faces substantial headwinds with, for example, house prices remaining above the historical average in relation to earnings. Such factors are likely to prevent a sharp acceleration in house prices."
More than half (52%) of British adults predict the average UK house price will rise over the next year — an increase of 7 percentage points since March and 25 points since June 2012. Londoners are the most optimistic with nearly three-quarters (73%) expecting a rise. Those living in the North West are the least optimistic with just over a third (35%) of respondents predicting that the average price will rise.
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