More Britons believe house prices to rise than fall over the next year, according to the latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence tracker.
34% expect average UK house price will rise over the next year, whilst 19% predict a decline in prices over the same period.
Meanwhile, the headline House Price Outlook balance (i.e. the difference between the proportion of people that expect house prices to rise rather than fall) eased from +19 percentage points in March to +15 in June. Despite this slight weakening, confidence in house price prospects remains higher than at the beginning of the year with the House Price Outlook balance in June more than double the +7 in January.
“Confidence in the housing market has weakened a little over the last three months, reflecting the increased uncertainty regarding the economic outlook,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.
“The public’s confidence in the housing market, however, has been very resilient so far this year. This is, consistent with the broad house price stability experienced over the first half of 2012.
“Overall, we expect little change in prices and sales over the remainder of the year provided that the UK’s economic outlook does not deteriorate significantly.”
Those living in London and Wales are the most confident about the prospects for the housing market with an overall net balance of +25 in both in June. These areas are followed by the South East (+22) and the East of England (+21).
Meanwhile, those in the East Midlands (+2) have the least positive outlook for house prices, followed by the North East (+4).
Eight of the eleven tracked regions saw a weakening in their headline House Price Outlook balance between March and June. The South West recorded the biggest fall (-17), followed by the East Midlands (-15).
Wales (+13) and the West Midlands (+8) were the only regions to see a positive increase in sentiment in their headline House Price Outlook balance.
58% highlighted the challenges in raising a deposit and 56% cited concerns about job security as the main barriers to buying a home. Respondents also picked out household finances and the general availability of mortgages (both 31%) as major hurdles to home buying.