Owners less gloomy over house prices

HOME-OWNERS are much less gloomy about the future direction of the housing market than commentators and statisticians, according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by Zoopla.co.uk found that despite downbeat predictions for house prices in the coming year, most home-owners were optimistic about the future.

Some 59 per cent of home-owners now expect house prices to rise after eight months of price falls, while only one in four expect values to decline further over the next six months.

The survey of nearly 8,000 home-owners found they expect an average rise of 2.8 per cent in the next six months.

On their own homes, however, owners expect a 3.2 per cent rise in the next six months.

The study report added: “Confidence in the market outlook has strengthened from its record low at the end of last year when only 54 per cent of home-owners expected prices to rise, but remains some way below the levels seen a year ago when four out of five (81 per cent) expected prices to climb.”

This growing confidence among owner-occupiers has ensured that more of them (40 per cent) are planning home improvements this year, partly because of an improvement in lending conditions.

The number of respondents who expect values to drop over the next six months is down to 25 per cent, against 33 per cent in December.