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Housing market confidence decreases in June

Homeowners' confidence has waned in the second quarter but homeowners in London and the South East are positive, according to data from Zoopla.

By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Jul 12, 2011 | comments

The number of homeowners who expect house prices to rise over the next six months has fallen over the last quarter, with 57 per cent believing prices are set to climb compared to 59 per cent in March, data from Zoopla's quarterly housing market sentiment survey has shown.

Zoopla attributes the fall in confidence to continued lending constraints and economic uncertainty.

Despite the quarterly drop in confidence, homeowners are still more positive now than they were back in January when 54 per cent of homeowners believed prices would rise. However, this remains significantly below the peak of early 2010, when 81 per cent expected property prices to rise.

The drop in confidence has also affected the amount by which homeowners believe house prices will rise over the coming six months.

Across the 4,146 homeowners surveyed by Zoopla, the average expectation was for prices to rise by an average of 2.6 per cent over the next six months, down from the 2.8 per cent predicted three months ago.

The regional picture is more varied as Londoners are feeling far more confident in the housing market, with 74 per cent of homeowners in the capital expecting house prices to rise between now and the end of the year, up from 68 per cent three months ago.

Moreover, the average amount by which Londoners expect prices to grow has increased significantly to 6.2 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent last quarter. In the rest of the South East, 63 per cent of homeowners are confident prices will rise, compared to only 58 per cent three months ago.

The largest drop in confidence over the last three months has been in Scotland, where 58 per cent of homeowners now expect house prices to rise over the next six months, down from 63 per cent three months ago.

Nicholas Leeming, business development director at Zoopla, highlighted that weakening economic outlook and continuing constraints in the lending market have caused activity in the property market to fall which has resulted in waning confidence.

He said: "Aside from a more reassuring economic outlook, the key catalyst for increased property market activity and house prices will be down to lenders improving the availability of mortgage finance."

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