Confidence in the UK housing market has risen following record declines, according to Halifax’s housing market confidence tracker.
Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) expect the average property price to rise in the next 12 months, compared to just one in 10 (14 per cent) who expect prices to fall. In May 2015, a record high of 72 per cent were anticipating price rises.
The bank’s house price optimism survey, which tracks consumer sentiment on whether house prices will be higher or lower in a year’s time, has improved two points to hit 44 from a net score of 42 in October 2016. The improvement comes after a record fall in October 2016 following the EU referendum result.
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Optimism stood at 68 points in May 2015 around the time of the General Election, while the lowest level ever recorded was minus two in October 2011 after a period of declining house prices, the only time it has ever been in negative territory.
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, house price growth in the UK was 5.8 per cent in the year to February, up from 5.3 per cent in the year to January. However, the rise was still below the average growth seen in 2016 of 7.3 per cent.
The average UK house price in February was £218,000, up £12,000 from the previous year and £2,000 higher than last month.
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Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “House price optimism is little changed since the October 2016 measure, which is significant because it was the first post-Brexit survey and recorded the steepest fall since the tracker began. 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.”