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Brexit and Coronavirus? Housing market sentiment strong despite crises

Public sentiment over the housing market remains stable despite the Coronavirus crisis and the possibility of a No Deal Brexit.

That’s the conclusion of the Halifax, which has produced its latest sentiment survey in tandem with consultancy IHS Markit.

While only 14 per cent of home owners polled in November felt the value of their property rose that month - a small drop from 17 per cent in both September and October - this remains one of the highest figures of the year.


The poll found 27 per cent of households believe their homes would be worth more by this time next year; only 18 per cent think prices will fall.

This is a reverse of the position in the spring when only 16 per cent expected a rise in the following 12 months, and 34 per cent expected a drop. 

Halifax managing director Russell Galley says: “UK households remain broadly confident in the strength of the property market.

“The perceived rate of house price growth weakened slightly during November but is nonetheless above average and a noticeable reversal from the period of negative sentiment we saw between April through to August.

“People also remain cautiously optimistic that property prices across the country will be higher in 12 months’ time. 

“However, expectations softened from October, and remain subdued by historical standards. This is unlikely to change significantly while the macroeconomic landscape remains uncertain, with most housing market experts predicting greater downward pressure on house prices as we move into 2021.”

In seven of the 11 regions monitored by the Halifax, property prices were perceived as having risen during the previous month with the sharpest increases in Yorkshire & Humberside and the South West.

In East England, Wales, London and the North East, people felt that the value of their home had fallen, with the rate of decline sharpest in the North East.

“This is persuading buyers to purchase now rather than wait in the hope that prices may fall. Interesting times are on the horizon however, with the first quarter of next year seeing the end of furlough and the stamp duty holiday, plus the Budget” says MT Finance director Tomer Aboody.

“Future sentiment is therefore very much in the hands of the Chancellor, who has some difficult decisions to make. The continued confidence being demonstrated by buyers suggests that they are not worried as yet and plan to take advantage of continuous low interest rates. 

“The potential of high LTV mortgages, as set out by the government, and the probable extension of stamp duty relief, would also keep sentiment strong.”


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