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Halifax: Consumers less confident about housing market

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Consumers’ confidence in the housing market has dipped slightly despite the record-low interest rate environment and average house prices continuing to climb.

According to Halifax’s housing market confidence tracker, which polled 1,025 British adults, a net balance of 58 believe house prices are set to rise. The net balance is determined by subtracting those who think average property prices will not rise from those who think they will.

However, an increasing number of people think the next 12 months will be a good time to sell, at a net balance of 26, compared with 21 in March.

Conversely, the net proportion of those who think the next year will be a good time to sell has fallen from 33 in March to 30 in April.

Halifax believes consumers’ outlook will improve in the coming months due to short-term factors like low mortgage rates, falling swaps, deflation and record-low base rate as well as rising employment.

Halifax mortgages director Craig McKinlay says: “With inflation now at its lowest level since records began, unemployment falling, and the economy still growing, the fundamentals for the housing market remain positive.

“Going forward the key factor in how consumers adjust to any changes in rates will be the way in which they manage their disposable income.”

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