UK Property Market Confidence Falls Sharply

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A new survey by Zoopla.co.uk finds that the mortgage drought shows no sign of easing, with 89% of respondents saying that it is no easier to obtain mortgage financing now than it was 3 months ago.

Zoopla.co.uk

Confidence amongst homeowners about the outlook for the property market has fallen sharply amid growing concerns over the availability of mortgage finance, according to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey. The survey reveals that only 63% of homeowners now expect property prices to rise over the next six months, compared to 78% of homeowners three months ago, showing a staggering decline in confidence in the housing market.

According to the survey of 6,149 homeowners by property website Zoopla.co.uk, which combines property search with property research, the average growth predicted for house prices in the next six months has also dropped to only 3% from 5.5% three months ago. And the number of respondents who expect property prices to fall over the coming six months is up sharply to 1 in 4 (25%) from 1 in 10 (11%) only three months ago.

Interestingly, the Zoopla.co.uk survey results reaffirm that homeowners in the UK view their home as their castle. Whilst 25% of those surveyed said they expect the price of houses for sale in their local area to fall over the next six months, only 21% expect the value of their own home to fall over the same period. And whilst the average rise in values was predicted as 3% for the local neighbourhood, homeowners surveyed expect their own homes to rise by 3.4% on average indicating that they expect their own home to perform 13% better than their neighbours.

The survey also shows that the severe shortage in the availability of mortgage finance is having a detrimental effect on the health of the property market and consumer confidence with 9 out 10 respondents (89%) stating that it is now no easier to get financing than it was three months ago.

Across the UK, the Scots remain the most upbeat with 71% expecting house prices in their area to rise over the next six months, but this is down from 84% three months ago. In England optimism fell the hardest with 62% predicting a house prices rise compared to 79% three month ago. And the Welsh are the most pessimistic on the chances of local property prices rising in the next 6 months with only 61% of Welsh homeowners predicting an increase versus 73% three months ago.

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: “The ongoing mortgage drought has started to have a real impact on consumer confidence, with optimism about the outlook for the housing market dropping sharply. The shortage of funding on offer is preventing many people who do want to buy from being able to purchase a home, particularly first time buyers. Increasing activity levels is vital for the health of the property market, and the wider economy in turn, and the banks must pull out all the stops to increase lending.”

Methodology

  • Zoopla.co.uk invited registered users to participate in this study
  • The survey was fielded from 8th to 19th September 2010
  • There were 6,679 total respondents. 6,149 of these were homeowners. Statistics based on a sample of this size are accurate to within +/- 1.0% with 95% confidence, if the sample is drawn at random from the population it intends to represent
  • These respondents represent the perspective of the Zoopla.co.uk user community, and could be considered to represent the population of people interested in the UK residential property market
  • All statistics are based on the full sample unless otherwise noted

For further information, please contact:
Lawrence Hall at lawrence.hall@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 7620 4618
Tom Urpeth / Mark Baker at The Wriglesworth Consultancy on 020 7427 1440 / 1416

About Zoopla.co.uk
Zoopla.co.uk is the UK’s most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering consumers with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help our users make sense of the residential property market by combining property listings with market value data, local information and community tools. Zoopla.co.uk was founded on the principles of transparency and efficiency and everything we do aims to make the market more effective for both property consumers and professionals alike.

By combining free, instant value estimates for every UK home with sold prices, local market information and hundreds of thousands of properties available for sale and to rent, Zoopla.co.uk has become the ultimate destination for property consumers to search for property and do their market research. We are the UK's fastest growing property website and are proud to have been named 'Best Property Portal 2009' (Daily Mail UK Property Awards).

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Lawrence Hall
Zoopla.co.uk
+44 (0)20 7620 4618
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