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September 2009

Consumers show confidence over prices — survey

MORE than three quarters of consumers are confident that UK house prices won't fall any further this year.

That is the key finding of the latest consumer confidence survey from Rightnove and is in sharp contrast to the same survey carried out in January, which revealed that around two-thirds of people felt that house prices would be lower in the following 12 months.

Rightmove, the leading property website, say they feel that such a u-turn in public sentiment provides a strong indication that confidence is returning within the UK housing market.

A series of recent reports have been equally optimistic as to the market’s recovery, including Rightmove’s own House Price Index which shows an increase in average prices so far this year, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors readjusting its price forecasts.

Rightmove point out that their survey provides evidence that such positivity is being reflected among the public at large, with the survey measuring a large sample size of respondents across all adult age groups and regions of the UK.

Commercial director Miles Shipside said: “With increasingly positive public sentiment supported by encouraging recent market reports, the UK property industry is now seeing a virtuous circle of confidence building upon confidence.

“This vote of confidence has positive and negative connotations. The sentiment of future buyers is a pre-cursor to a speedier recovery in depressed transaction levels.

“However, it is also a signal that some of them will be willing to pay a bit more. This will give encouragement to many existing homeowners with borderline equity, but cause concern to a potential buyer hoping their own mortgage ability improves before any significant price uplift.”