Knight Frank: House price sentiment jumps after GDP bounce

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The latest Knight Frank House Price Sentiment Index survey of 1,500 UK households shows a perceived positive outlook, the highest for two and a half years.

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The last time the future house prices sentiment index reached similar highs was in the summer of 2010.

Key headlines for Knight Frank House Price Sentiment Index, November 2012

UK households perceive that the value of their home declined again in November, but at the most modest pace since July 2010

The outlook for house prices hit the highest level in nearly two and half years, bouncing back from an eight‐month low in October

On a three‐month basis, the future HPSI rose to 53.2, up from 51.8 on average in the three months to October

Households in every region except Wales expect the value of their home to rise in the coming year, the highest proportion since June 2010

Change in current house prices

Index (HPSI) signals that average house prices fell for the 29th consecutive month in November.

However the proportion of homeowners reporting that the value of their home had risen climbed from 6% to 9%, while the proportion saying that the value of their home had declined fell from 16% to 14%. This resulted in a HPSI reading of 47.6, up from 45.0 in October.

Any figure under 50 indicates that prices are falling, and the lower the figure, the steeper the decline. Any figure over 50 indicates that prices are rising.

The survey of 1,500 households across the UK showed that households in every region bar two felt the value of their home fell over the last month. The two exceptions, as has been the case for most of the year, were London (54.1) and the South East (50.5). Prices were perceived to have fallen most sharply in Wales (39.3) and the North West (45.1).

A lead indicator

Since the inception of the HPSI, the index has been a clear lead indicator for house price trends.

Figure 3 shows that the index moves ahead of mainstream house price indices, confirming the advantage of an opinion‐based survey which provides a current view on household sentiment, rather than historic evidence from transactions or mortgage market evidence.

Outlook for house prices

The future HPSI (figure 2), which measures what households think will happen to the value of their property over the next year, rose sharply in November. Around 30% of households anticipate a rise in the value of their home over the next 12 months, while 18% expect a fall.

The resulting index reading is 55.9, marking a substantial bounce back from October’s reading of 50.5, which was the lowest reading in eight months. On a smoother three‐month average reading, the future HPSI in November was 53.2, up from 51.8 in the three months to October.

Regional outlook

Households in every region except Wales (45.2) expect the value of their property to rise over the next 12 months. London leads the way (63.3), followed by the South East (61.1), but perhaps more notably, households in the North West (53.8) are expecting price growth for the first time in more than six months.

Those aged 55 and over still remain the most cautious in their outlook for prices (53.6), although this is the first time respondents in this age bracket have said they are expecting price rises since June. Those in the 25 to 34 age bracket, the typical age for a first‐time buyer, expect the biggest price rises, perhaps reflecting the increased challenges they face in order to climb onto the housing ladder.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said:

“The strong recovery from the marked slump in confidence seen in October coincides with better news from the economy, with official figures suggesting that the UK not only emerged from recession, but did so at a faster pace than expected in Q3.

“The more upbeat economic news seems to have lifted sentiment, especially the outlook for house prices. The last time the future house prices sentiment index reached similar highs was in the summer of 2010, which coincided with 0.7% rise in GDP in Q2 that year – the strongest economic performance since the initial recession, apart from the most recent 1% rise in GDP in Q3 2012.

“But more downbeat news is already emanating from the economy, with the Bank of England this week admitting that the country could slip back into recession in Q4. As such, there is a risk that the fillip to sentiment seen as a result of the better than expected GDP figures may unwind in the months to come.”

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “It’s too early to say whether the pick up in the outlook for house prices reflects an underlying improvement in market sentiment, perhaps linked to better availability of mortgages due to the Funding For Lending Scheme. It could of course merely reflect a feel‐good factor arising from the better than expected growth of the economy in the third quarter. Most likely it’s a combination of the two, and we will hopefully see a steady continuation of improvement in mortgage conditions in coming months.”

For further information, please contact

Knight Frank
Rosie Cade, PR Manager
020 7861 1068

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research
020 7861 5102
07785 527 145

Caroline Lumley, Director, Corporate Communications
020 7260 2047

Chris Williamson, Chief Economist
0779 5555061

Notes to editors

About the HPSI
The Knight Frank/Markit House Price Sentiment Index (HPSI) survey was first conducted in February 2009 and is compiled each month by Markit. The survey is based on monthly responses from pproximately 1,500 individuals in Great Britain, with data collected by Ipsos MORI from its panel of respondents aged 18‐64. The survey sample is structured according to gender, region and age to ensure the survey results accurately reflect the true composition of the population. Results are also weighted to further improve representativeness.

Prior to September 2010, the Household Finance Index was jointly compiled by YouGov and Markit based on monthly responses from over 2,000 UK households, with data collected online by YouGovplc from its representative panel of respondents aged 18 and above. The panel was structured according to income, region and age to ensure the survey results accurately reflected the true composition of the UK population. Results were also weighted to further improve representativeness.

Index numbers

Index numbers are calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting an improvement, no change or decline. These indices vary between 0 and 100 with readings of exactly 50.0 signalling no change on the previous month. Readings above 50.0 signal an increase or improvement; readings below 50.0 signal a decline or deterioration.

IpsosMORItechnical details (November survey)

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1500 adults aged 18‐64 across Great Britain from its online panel of respondents. Interviews were conducted online between 8th – 12th November 2012. A representative sample of adults was interviewed with quota controls set by gender, age and region and the resultant survey data weighted to the known GB profile of this audience by gender, age, region and household income. Ipsos MORI was responsible for the fieldwork and data collection only and not responsible for the analysis, reporting or interpretation of the survey results.

About Knight Frank

Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank and its New York based global partner, Newmark Knight Frank, operate from 209 offices, in 47 countries, across six continents. More than 6,840 professionals handle in excess of US$755 billion (£521 billion) worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually, advising clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants. For further information about the Company, please visit

For the latest news, views and analysis on the world of prime property visit Knight Frank's new website Global Briefing at And follow us on twitter @kfglobalbrief and @knightfrank.

About Markit

Markit is a leading, global financial information services company with over 2,000 employees. The company provides independent data, valuations and trade processing across all asset classes in order to enhance transparency, reduce risk and improve operational efficiency. Its client base includes the most significant institutional participants in the financial market place. For more information please see

The intellectual property rights to the HPSI provided herein is owned by Markit Economics Limited. Any unauthorised use, including but not limited to copying, distributing, transmitting or otherwise of any data appearing is not permitted without Markit’s prior consent. Markit shall not have any liability, duty or obligation for or relating to the content or information (“data”) contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in the data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. In no event shall Markit be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the data. Markit and the Markit logo are registered trademarks of Markit Group Limited.

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Gareth McConnell
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