Increased optimism over house price gains

There has been an increase in the number of homeowners in the country who expect house prices to rise over the next six months, according to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey.

67% are confident of house prices rising by the Autumn, the highest proportion of homeowners predicting property price growth since the first half of 2010.

This compares to sentiment at the end of last year when 55% expected house prices to climb.

Zoopla.co.uk has also reported that homeowners are more bullish now about how much they expect average house prices to rise over the next six months. At the end of 2011, owners expected prices in their local area to increase 2.2% on average. Over the last quarter this has risen to 3.9% – again, the highest price growth expectation in almost two years.

Confidence amongst homeowners in London is at a near all-time high with 82% of property owners in the capital now confident of property price rises over the next six months. And owners in the capital are predicting that house prices in London will grow 5.5% by October.

There has also been an improvement in sentiment towards mortgage financing with an increase in the number of property owners reporting that it is now easier to secure a mortgage than it was at the end of 2011. 17% of respondents believe mortgage availability has improved, up from 11% last quarter.

Nicholas Leeming of Zoopla.co.uk said: “The property market has been in need of some positive news of late as many indicators have pointed toward stagnant prices.

“These results show that homeowners now feel a lot more positive than at the end of last year and this confidence could bolster transaction and activity levels as we move further into the year.”