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Slowing house price growth not enough to dampen homeowner confidence

The latest data and analysis from Zoopla has revealed that despite slowing price growth in the property market, homeowner confidence remains strong with 81% of Brits expecting property value increases in their area over the next six months.

The latest data and analysis from Zoopla has revealed that despite slowing price growth in the property market, homeowner confidence remains strong with 81% of Brits expecting property value increases in their area over the next six months.

Regionally, those in Yorkshire and Humber and the North West are the most optimistic about their local property market; 91% of respondents in both areas expect house price rises over the next six months. Just behind, Scotland is the third most optimistic region, with 90 per cent of homeowners expecting an increase. In contrast, London is the least confident region, with only 67% expecting rises. The South East and the North East are the second and third least confident regions, with 74% and 78% anticipating increases respectively.

When it comes to the rate at which homeowners think local house prices will increase in value in their area, those in Scotland are the most confident, with homeowners who believe there will be a price increase predicting properties in their area to rise in value by 5.5% over the next six months. Of those who do believe there will be a price increase, homeowners in the North East are the second most confident, followed by the West Midlands, with the regions expecting properties to grow in value by 5.4% and 5.1% respectively. The lowest house price growth is expected in the North West, where homeowners anticipate an increase of 4.45%.

Laura Howard, spokesperson for Zoopla, comments: “Despite evidence of a slowing housing market and ongoing political uncertainty, homeowners remain optimistic about the future of property prices.

Zoopla’s latest UK Cities House Price Index showed that house price growth slowed to 1.7% across the country’s 20 major cities in the 12 months to April, and to 2.2% across the UK as a whole. Yet, 81% of homeowning Brits expect property values to increase in their area over the next six months at the higher rate of 4.8%.

A staggering 91% of homeowners in Yorkshire and Humber expect prices to rise in their region by the end of the year, at an average rate of 4.5%. This mirrors the pace of the markets in native Sheffield and Leeds which registered rises of 4.4% and 3.5% respectively, according to Zoopla’s Cities Index.

Conversely, it’s no surprise that London homeowners are the least confident with prices in the capital falling by an average 0.5% compared to 12 months ago – the largest fall across all 20 cities. However, still more than two-thirds (67%) of London homeowners expect to see rises in the next six months – and of a considerable 4.5%.

Whether or not these forecasts prevail, consumer sentiment plays a crucial role in the health of the housing market. A feeling of stability means buyers are more likely to start actively looking for their next home, confident that now is the right time to make a purchase. And, in turn, an active pool of buyers will encourage sellers to list their homes for sale.

This not only brings buoyancy to the housing market, but also offers an opportunity for agents. Vendors fuelled with optimism for house price growth will need to listen carefully to the advice of their estate agents when looking to sell their homes, relying on agent’s local market expertise and experience to accurately price their properties. Consumer positivity must be channelled to ensure that pricing is correct from the outset, this is vital for a swift sale at a price that’s as near to asking as possible.”

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