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Housing Market Confidence Stabilises

New research from Halifax has revealed that confidence in the UK housing market has stabilised following a record decline.

The Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker tracks House Price Optimism  – consumer sentiment on whether house prices will be higher or lower in a year’s time. The latest findings have shown a small improvement (+2 points) from a net +42 in October 2016 to +44. This improvement followed a record fall in October 2016 following the EU referendum result.

HPO peaked at +68 in May 2015 around the time of the General Election. The lowest level ever recorded was -2 in October 2011 after a period of declining house prices – the only time it has ever been in negative territory.

Nearly six in ten (58%) expect the average property price to rise in the next 12 months, compared to just one in ten (14%) who expect prices to fall. However, this compares to a record high of 72% who were anticipating price rises in May 2015. UK average house prices over the last year rose by 3.8% to £219,9492 (February 2017).

“House Price Optimism is little changed since the October 2016 measure, which is significant because it was the first post-Brexit survey and recorded the steepest fall since the tracker began,” commented Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. “The latest results suggest that consumer confidence in the housing market is potentially settling into a new lower ‘normal’. This sentiment echoes the slowdown in the annual rate of house price growth, which has more than halved over the past 12 months.”

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