More people expect house prices to rise than fall in 2013

Around 38% of people predict the average UK house price will rise over the next year, with less than a fifth forecasting a decline in prices, according to new figures from Halifax who interviewed 1,900 adults nationwide for the survey.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “Conditions in the housing market have been largely unchanged over the past 12 months with little overall movement in either house prices or sales for the second consecutive year. This remarkable stability, given the poor domestic and overseas economic climate, has probably been a key driver of the improvement in sentiment regarding the outlook for house prices over the coming year.

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“Ongoing concerns over job security and the challenges in raising a deposit are likely to constrain housing demand and activity next year. Accordingly, we expect continuing broad stability in house prices nationally in 2013.”

Around half the respondents (53%) think it will be a good time to buy in the next 12 months, nearly four times the proportion feeling it will be a good time to sell. Just under one in ten think it will be a good time to both buy and sell over the coming months, suggesting the level of housing market activity is likely to remain subdued in 2013. More than half those questioned highlighted concerns about job security (58%) and the challenges in raising a deposit (55%) as the main barriers to buying a home.

The figures also show that:
* 39% of men predict that house prices nationally will increase in the next 12 months compared with 36% of women
* 16-24 year olds are the most optimistic regarding house prices while those in the 55-64 year age bracket are the least positive
* Regionally, the North East has the highest proportion thinking that it will be a good time to buy (66%) – London has the lowest proportion with 39% feeling that it will be a good time to buy in 2013
* Two-thirds (66%) of people predict that the cost of private sector renting will increase over the next year

PropertyTuesday, 1 January 2013