Optimism in the prospects for UK house prices rose sharply over the first quarter, with 45 per cent of participants in the Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker now expecting prices to rise over 2013.
The tracker monitors public sentiment towards the housing market. A sample of 1,702 adults are questioned across Britain and data is weighted to the national population profile.
Just 12 per cent of the participants in the latest quarterly survey expect house prices to fall over the coming year.
Looking ahead, 55 per cent expect it to be a good time to buy in the next 12 months, as opposed to the 21 per cent who expect it to be a good time to sell.
The proportion thinking it will be a good time to sell has, however, risen from 13 per cent since the last survey in December 2012.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis says: “There has been much more optimism about the prospects for the housing market over the past few months, particularly as the recent UK budget announced big plans for housing, and this seems to be reflected in the attitudes of the respondents. Sentiment regarding the outlook for house prices has improved markedly over the past quarter. This is likely to reflect the modest improvement in house prices nationally over recent months. A clear north/south divide exists with significantly higher proportions of people expecting prices to rise in the south than elsewhere in the UK.
“Only a small number think it will be a good time to both buy and sell over the coming months. This finding indicates the level of housing market activity is likely to remain subdued in 2013 despite the growing optimism regarding house price prospects.”
Trinity Financial Services product and communications manager Aaron Strutt says: “People are starting to realise that mortgage rates are incredibly low and, for those in a stable job and able to qualify, the outlook is good.”