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There may still be 68 per cent of people believing house prices will rise in the next 12 months but confidence in the market is at its lowest level for a year according to the Halifax.

Some six per cent of people expect prices to fall, so the net balance of 62 per cent is the lowest figure since last summer.

In London, where house price growth has been between 10 and 25 per cent in most suburbs over the past year, the balance of people who think that the next 12 months will be a good time to buy a property, minus those who think it will be a bad time, is particularly negative, at minus 22 per cent.

London is also the area where people are most likely to think house prices will continue to push up, with eight in 10 expecting further growth in values.

Optimism about buying a home was higher in areas where house price growth has been less fierce.

The outlook for buying a property was found to be at its most positive in the north east of England, where a net balance of 36 per cent of people think the coming year will be a good time to buy. In Scotland it's 20 per cent and in Wales it is 27 per cent.

Being able to raise enough money to save for a deposit was cited as an increasing barrier to being able to buy a home, as was household finances.

One in five people also citied speculation about interest rates rising as a barrier to buying, which is unchanged from the proportion of people who mentioned this when the same question was asked three months ago.


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