Data taken from a new report by Zoopla indicates that 9 out of 10 homeowners are confident that house prices will rise in their area during 2016. This figure, taken from the Zoopla Housing Market Sentiment Survey, marks a 4% year-on-year rise in confidence amongst English homeowners.
The survey of nearly 5,000 homeowners found that 92% are expecting property prices in their region to rise within the next six months. This was an increase from 88% twelve months ago.
In addition, the research found that 41% of homeowners were planning to improve their existing home. 9% said they planned to refinance their house, a 3% increase from the back end of 2014, with mortgage rates remaining at record lows.
What’s more, the proportion of people looking to sell property has risen to 19%, having reached 15% last year.
Homeowners in the East of England were found to be most optimistic, with 97% expecting the price of their home to increase over the next six months. Property owners in London and in the South East are nearly as confident, with 96% of respondents across this pair of regions suggesting a price rise is likely.
However, price sentiment around the accessibility of funding is more volatile. The proportion of those that think it is harder to get a mortgage now than three months ago has dropped from 49% to 26% since the Mortgage Market Review was introduced in April 2014.
Speculation continues to mount around when the Bank of England will raise interest rates. With lenders keeping an eye on developments, it may be becoming noticeable that borrowers are not seeing as many competitive products.
Property price confidence rises
‘As the end of the year approaches, homeowners are the most optimistic they have been in some time,’ noted Lawrence Hall of Zoopla. ‘While the brightening national economic outlook-with real-terms wages rising and consumer confidence almost back-up to pre-recession levels-this bodes well for the property market in 2016.’
‘While traditionally the estate agency market tends to take a break over Christmas in terms of completions and viewings, homeowner confidence shows no sign of slowing down and many individuals use the end of the year as a landmark to evaluate how much their property has appreciated over the calendar year,’ Hall continued.
Concluding, Hall observed, ‘the only slight chink in the armour is the fact that a sizeable number of people still feel securing a mortgage is becoming more difficult, despite the fact that the MMR was implemented with consumers’ best interests at heart.’ He said that, ‘it could also be an indication that the supply of low mortgage rates that have flooded the market of late could be about to reduce as lenders try to pre-empt the Bank of England’s movements regarding the Base Rate.’