Housing market confidence grows

UK households feel more positive about selling their home, reflecting the growing confidence in the housing market, according to research commissioned by Halifax.

The survey of 1,959 homeowners found that over half (56 per cent) feel that it will be a good time to sell their home over the next 12 months. This gives the measure a net balance of +24, the highest score since the survey began in 2011.

Key findings:

  • 62 per cent believe that now is a good time to sell
  • 60 per cent believe it will be a good time to buy over the next year
  • 26 per cent think it will be a bad time to buy over the same period
  • 71 per cent predict house prices will rise over the next 12 months
  • 6 per cent expect prices to fall.

Craig McKinley, mortgages director at Halifax, said:

"We've seen a strong start to the year with transaction volumes rising, with the overall sentiment regarding the outlook for the housing market continuing to improve.

"The increase in optimism is partly due to stronger house prices and this shift could provide a much needed increase in the supply of properties available for sale during the rest of the year."

The survey findings come as average house prices in the south of England reached £262,594 in April 2014 - the highest ever recorded.

Market analysts at property group Rightmove found that prices in the south have risen 7.3 per cent year-on-year, despite an increasing supply of houses. This is the highest annual growth rate since October 2007.

Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, said:

"Records are tumbling, with a new national asking price record being set for the second consecutive month.

"London's asking prices are at their highest ever level, and the strong ripple effect from the capital has also caused a new wave of record prices for property coming t6o market in the southeast, the southwest and East Anglia."