Friday, 11 May 2012 8:40 AM
More than a third of home movers (35 per cent) expect house prices to be higher in a year's time, according to a new consumer confidence survey by Rightmove.
The second quarter of 2012 survey reveals that confidence in a price rise is at its highest and expectations that prices will fall at its lowest (20 per cent), since the third quarter of 2010. Another 40 per cent think prices will be about the same as now and five per cent don't know.
In the first quarter of 2012, 25 per cent of the 40,000 movers questioned said prices would rise and 30 per cent said they would fall.
Opinions about trends in the mortgage market seem to be the main drivers for views about prices. Among movers who said prices would rise, 35 per cent reported an improving mortgage market and another 14 per cent continued low interest rates as the main reason for their view.
Half of those intending to buy in the next 12 months said that finding a suitable property was their main concern, up from 36 per cent two years ago and 44 per cent a year ago.
However, almost half of people questioned (46 per cent) think that property prices in their local area are above fair and reasonable levels – the result of affordability not improving as it has in previous downturns.
Miles Shipside, director at Rightmove, said: "In spite nearly half of people stating they think property prices are top heavy in their local area, the overwhelming view is that property prices will be the same or higher in a year's time.
"Those that are active in the market are perhaps looking in the better areas so their view is likely to be influenced by more buoyant conditions in cash rich locations. The less active deposit-poor areas will be those where prices will have to be dropped if a seller is keen to sell."