Britain faces an 'extended housing market slump, the International Monetary Fund has said.
The IMF has warned that UK house prices are too high and should drop by 10-15%. The IMF delivered its warning after slashing its forecasts for growth in Britain by a bigger margin than for any other major economy.
It called on Chancellor George Osborne to produce a Plan B for the economy, saying that economic recovery may still not materialise as a result of austerity measures.
However, Britons seem cheerily unaware of international unease over the UK housing market.
More expect house prices to rise than fall over the next 12 months, says today's confidence tracker from Halifax.
Just over one-third (34%) forecast that the UK average house price will rise over the next year, compared with 19% who believe house prices will fall.
People living in London and Wales are the most optimistic, and those in the East Midlands and North-East are the most pessimistic.
The survey also shows that 61% of people believe that private rents will go up.
A similar exercise by property portal Zoopla, shows even more confidence about house price rises.
A total of 63% overall expect house prices to rise over the next six months, but the figures are skewed by upbeat Londoners, 80% of whom anticipate price rises.
This time last year, 57% of home owners overall expected a rise in property prices, says Zoopla, while at the start of this year only 55% thought prices would go up.
In the latest survey, just 18% of home owners expect house prices to fall over the next six months.
The average home owner expects a 3.2% rise in their local area, with Londoners expecting a 5.4% rise.
The confidence in the housing market was not mirrored by improved sentiment around mortgage availability. Over a third of those surveyed (35%) believed it is harder to secure a mortgage than three months ago and only 10% thought that finding a mortgage had become easier.
Owners in the North-East of England are the most pessimistic about the state of the local property market, with 31% expecting the value of their home to drop over the coming months.
There were 2,794 respondents to Zoopla’s survey, of whom 2,755 were home owners.
But there is a big age divide. See next story