The next few months could see more people putting their properties up for sale, as homeowners are confident that prices will continue to rise.
A recent Halifax confidence tracker found that the amount of homeowners who believe that the next year will be a good time to sell has risen to its highest level for four years.
Property prices have continued to increase in 2015, although slower than last year. Experts believe this is due to fewer homes being put up for sale.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says that it is witnessing signs of a “worrying”1 upward pressure on prices because of the shortage of homes on the market.
Halifax surveyed around 2,000 people and found that 59% believe now to be a good time to sell, with 26% thinking it is not.1
The overall net balance is 33%, which is the highest figure recorded since the survey began in April 2011. At the beginning of 2012, the net balance had dropped to -64%.1
Respondents still think that house prices will rise even if the supply of properties for sale and buyer demand is better balanced. Over two thirds predict prices to increase in the next 12 months, with only 3% expecting them to decrease. This is the strongest net balance since the start of last summer.1
Net balance of people who predict prices to rise rather than fall in the next year1:
|East of England||75%|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||66%|
Mortgages Director at Halifax, Craig McKinlay, says: “We’ve seen a strong start to the year in terms of the net sentiment regarding the outlook for the housing market, and this has translated into an increase in transaction volumes.
“This increase in optimism is likely to be the result of a combination of factors, including the improving economic figures, greater numbers of higher loan-to-value mortgages, and extremely competitive mortgage rates.”1
House price predictions for the next 12 months are the strongest in the South East, where buyers are looking for better value in the commuter belt than London.
Furthermore, 53% of people think that now is a good time to buy a property, compared to 32% who do not.1
The main obstacles facing those looking to buy a home are said to be saving a deposit and worries over job security, at 61% and 44% correspondingly.1
Only 12% of respondents are concerned over interest rate increases in regard to owning a property, down from 15% last year.1
Estate agents recently revealed that there are fewer buyers searching for a home than a year ago, due to stricter mortgage lending criteria. The National Association of Estate Agents found that 65% of its members are reporting a decline in buyer numbers since the mortgage market review a year ago.1