UK house prices expected to rise

Property finance3

More than half of UK adults expect property prices to increase over the next 12 months, according to the latest industry data.

Halifax’s biannual Housing Market Confidence Tracker, which tracks consumer sentiment on whether house prices will be higher or lower in a year’s time, found six in ten people think that the average UK property will be worth more this time in 2018 than it is now.

The tracker’s House Price Optimism (HPO) survey – which is calculated as the net balance of the percentage of respondents that expect the average UK house price to rise over the next 12 months, minus those that expect them to fall – now stands at +44, compared with +42 in October, indicating confidence is rising.

While 58 per cent expect the average property price to rise in the next 12 months, 14 per cent think that it will fall.

Significant increases expected

Among those who expect the average house price to rise, 28 per cent of respondents think that they will increase by more than five per cent, while 30 per cent of those surveyed anticipate they will rise by less than five per cent.

Over the past 12 months, Halifax data shows that the average UK house price has increased by 3.8 per cent to reach £219,949.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, noted that sentiment is little changed since the October 2016 measure. This is significant because it was the first post-Brexit survey and recorded the steepest fall since the tracker began.

He added: “The latest results suggest that consumer confidence in the housing market is potentially settling into a new lower ‘normal’. This sentiment echoes the slowdown in the annual rate of house price growth, which has more than halved over the past 12 months.”

A good time for buying and selling

Many people feel that the coming year will be a good time to sell their home, with the balance of people who think that selling conditions will improve over the next 12 months moving from +9 to +17.

Just over half (52 per cent) of those questioned think the next 12 months will be a good time to sell, which is up by five percentage points from the figure recorded in October 2016.

Buying sentiment has also maintained pace, with a balance of +14 people thinking the next year will be a good time to purchase a home.

The biggest perceived barrier to people buying a home remains saving for a deposit, with 65 per cent of respondents thinking this is the most difficult aspect.

It comes after recent Halifax data showed that a quarter of first-time buyers (FTBs) in the UK are relying on inheritance money to buy their first home.

However, a number of initiatives exist that can help FTBs to achieve their aspirations of owning their own home, including the Help to Buy scheme and newly launched Lifetime ISAs, offering financial assistance to those hoping to get on the property ladder.

For more information on schemes to buy or sell your home, visit www.avanthomes.co.uk/ways-to-buy/.