According to the latest Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker, Britons are beginning to feel more confident over the housing market, with more than one in three predicting house prices will increase during the next twelve months. Just 20% expect house prices to fall.
The House Price Outlook balance is now at its most positive since the Halifax began this survey 12 months ago, as it had a balance of +19% in March, compared to just +7% in January. All the 11 regions surveyed saw more respondents feel positive about house price rises compared to just eight regions in January and three in October 2011. However those living in the South of England are far more positive than those living in the North, and the gap is getting wider, with a score of +26% compared to just +12% in the North. This gap has widened since January when the housing sentiment for the South was only slightly more positive than in the North.
Not surprisingly those living in London feel most optimistic about the housing market, with a positive score of +29%, while those in the North East have a score of just +6%. The numbers of those who believe it is becoming a better time to sell has improved reducing from -64% in January to -38% in March. However just 24% think it’s a good time to sell , compared to 55% who think it would be a good time to buy, but 61% are still concerned about job security, while 45% are worried over being able to raise a big enough deposit. Another 25% thought mortgage constraints were a major obstacle to purchasing, while 27% were concerned about being able to afford mortgage repayments.
With 71% predicting rents will continue to increase over the next twelve months, it could be that those who can afford to buy, and who are able to qualify for a mortgage will be keen to do so sooner rather than later.