Housing market confidence blossoms: Halifax

The latest statistics from Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker, showed that one in four people expect house prices to increase by at least 5 per cent over the next 12 months.

Despite this, there has been little change in individual buying behaviour, matched against the increased sentiment towards people selling their homes.

According to the survey, 57 per cent believed that now would be a good time for people to buy, compared to 30 per cent who thought it would be best to sell in the next 12 months.

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Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “This increase in optimism is partly due to house prices being stronger than expected in the first half of the year.

“We continue to see a clear north/south divide, with significantly higher proportions of people expecting prices to rise in the south than elsewhere in the UK.

“Nonetheless, the market still faces substantial headwinds with, for example, house prices remaining above the historical average in relation to earnings. Such factors are likely to prevent a sharp acceleration in house prices.”

Adviser view:

Brian Murphy, head of lending at national broker firm Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “Generous criteria are tempting many would-be homeowners to take advantage of governments’ schemes. We now need more lenders to step up so that pricing stays competitive and the market doesn’t become over-reliant on a core group of lenders.”