The New Year has sparked a resurgence of confidence in the prospects for the UK’s housing market, with speculators expecting house prices to rise rather than fall in the coming year.
Findings from the latest Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker revealed that headline House Price Outlook balance – the difference between the proportion of people that expect house prices to rise rather than fall – hit +20 in December.
This is the highest figure since survey began in April 2011, and up from the previous high of +19 in March 2012.
The research also highlighted that more than half of those surveyed believed that optimal property conditions will make the next 12 months the ideal time to buy.
Across the regions the North East has the highest proportion of people thinking that the next year will be a good time to buy, at 66%, while London has the lowest proportion at 39%.
Despite this optimism, consumers still expressed concerns about a number of barriers to getting a foot on the property ladder, including job security (58%) and the difficulty of raising a sufficient deposit (55%).
“Conditions in the housing market have been largely unchanged over the past 12 months with little overall movement in either house prices or sales for the second consecutive year,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.
“This remarkable stability, given the poor domestic and overseas economic climate, has probably been a key driver of the improvement in sentiment regarding the outlook for house prices over the coming year.”
Halifax’s recent UK Housing Market Outlook for 2013, predicted that 2013 will see continuing broad stability in property prices across the UK, with the housing market set to make a slow but gradual recovery in the coming years.
The report also outlined that London and the South East will continue to take the lead in terms of property prices.