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House price sentiment dips, but still strong: Halifax

Consumer confidence in house prices has slipped over the past month, with fewer people believing the value of their home has increased in November compared to October, the latest sentiment index from Halifax has shown.

However, the survey, conducted in partnership IHS Markit suggests that sentiment remains relatively stable.

While 14 per cent of home owners polled in November felt the value of their property rose over the last month, down from 17 per cent in both September and October, the figure remains significantly above the low of 4 per cent recorded in May when the country was under the first national lockdown.

Looking ahead, more people think their property value will increase over the next 12 months than believe it will decrease. 

The poll found that 27 per cent of households believe the home will be worth more by this time next year, compared to just 16 per cent back in May.

This compares to 18 per cent of home owners who believe their properly value will be lower in a year’s time, which is down from a peak of 34 per cent in May. 

In seven of the 11 regions monitored by the index, people felt that property prices rose on the previous month, with the sharpest increase in Yorkshire & Humberside, followed by the South West.

However, in the East of England, Wales, London and the North East, people felt that the value of their home had fallen, with the rate of decline sharpest in the North East.

Looking to the future, households in the South West of England were most confident of higher property prices in the next year, while in the North East sentiment turned negative for the first time since August, although only marginally so.

The survey also looked at barriers to home ownership among tenants who do not expect to buy a home within the next two years.

It found that 67 per cent cited a lack of savings as the reason, while 55 per cent say they do not earn enough and 26 per cent believe they would be prevented from getting on the ladder by their poor credit score. 

Despite the ongoing economic uncertainty, around 8 per cent of UK households say they plan to buy a property within the next year, 13 per cent plan to do so within the next two to five years and 14 per cent within the next five to 10 years.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley says: “UK households remain broadly confident in the strength of the property market.

“The perceived rate of house price growth weakened slightly during November but is nonetheless above average and a noticeable reversal from the period of negative sentiment we saw between April through to August.

“People also remain cautiously optimistic that property prices across the country will be higher in 12 months’ time. 

“However, expectations softened from October, and remain subdued by historical standards. 

“This is unlikely to change significantly while the macroeconomic landscape remains uncertain, with most housing market experts predicting greater downward pressure on house prices as we move into 2021.”

MT Finance director Tomer Aboody says: “Confidence is always key for the housing market. 

“Current sentiment continues to be strong, with the perception that prices will continue rising in the near future at least. 

“This is persuading buyers to purchase now rather than wait in the hope that prices may fall.

“Interesting times are on the horizon however, with the first quarter of next year seeing the end of furlough and the stamp duty holiday, plus the Budget. 

“Future sentiment is therefore very much in the hands of the chancellor, who has some difficult decisions to make. 

“The continued confidence being demonstrated by buyers suggests that they are not worried as yet and plan to take advantage of continuous low interest rates. 

“The potential of high LTV mortgages, as set out by the government, and the probable extension of stamp duty relief, would also keep sentiment strong.”

Original Article from Mortgage Strategy 30/11/2020

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