Rightmove’s latest Consumer Price Forecast, out today, reveals that the majority of prospective home-movers do not expect house prices to be lower by the end of 2012, despite the on-going economic gloom at home and abroad. The survey, which polled more than 25,000 respondents, finds that nearly two-thirds (63%) expect house prices to be the same or higher 12 months from now, with less than a third (31%) expecting prices to be lower.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove comments: “The public’s belief in the value of bricks and mortar seems to defy the deteriorating economic situation. This is a clear message that the majority of consumers view the property asset class to be as ‘safe as houses’ in these times of economic uncertainty”.
41% of respondents predicted that prices in their area would be more or less the same in 12 months, the single largest group. This ‘price stability’ group has increased by five percentage points from the same quarter a year ago. Around one in five (22%) expect prices to be higher.
At a regional level, home-movers in London were the most optimistic about prices in their area increasing with 29% expecting prices to be higher in 12 months’ time followed by East Anglia, South East and the South West including Buckinghamshire. Wales was the most pessimistic region, with 35% predicting lower prices one year out.
Rightmove’s survey also reveals the current market to be extremely patchy and localised within the regions themselves. For example, in the North West 26% of respondents in Preston expect prices to be higher in 12 months’ time, compared with just 14% in Lancaster, only 20 miles away. The property market outlook can vary considerably within just a few miles, depending on factors like the mix of housing, employment opportunities and transport.
Shipside comments: “Although the majority view at a national level is that the UK housing market will avoid price falls in 2012, local variations highlight how patchy confidence can be depending on an area’s housing mix and wealth demographics. The wealthier middle-to-upper price brackets may be feeling fairly blast-proof from any further economic eruptions, and see a less turbulent outlook.”
Peter Scott, Director of the Brampton Partnership, remarked that "In these challenging times it still goes to show that property can be a resilient investment. Of course prices are bound to fluctuate here and there but buying a home should be regarded as a medium to long term investment with the added bonus of providing a roof over your head."
Peter added "What your home might be worth the month after you move in is irrelevant if your not planning to sell it."