Bullish homeowners rush to invest in house improvements as they expect property prices to rise 9%
- A record 95% expect house values to grow in next six months
- Londoners expect property prices to rise an average 12% by September
- More homeowners say they are planning home improvements this year
By Lee Boyce
Property owners expect house prices to rocket by an average of 8.8 per cent between now and September, a survey has found.
A record 95 per cent believe values will rise in the next six months according to the latest Zoopla housing market sentiment survey, which questions nearly 5,000 people.
And in anticipation of expected strong price gains, 42 per cent of those homeowners surveyed plan to carry out home improvements over the next six months.
Bullish: Homeowners across the UK expect property prices to rise by at least 7% in their region
The 8.8 per cent figure is almost double the increase predicted at the same point last year while a lower 74 per cent of respondents expected values to rise at the same point in 2013.
Just three per cent of those surveyed believe house prices will remain flat until the end of the summer while two per cent expect falls – down significantly from 13 per cent one year ago.
Stronger confidence in the housing market has also led to a sharp increase in those planning to move.
Almost one third of homeowners are planning to buy a property in the next 12 months, up from 22 per cent at the start of the year, according to the property website survey.
Lawrence Hall, of Zoopla.co.uk, said: commented: ‘Homeowners across the country are going one step further this year and planning to invest in more substantial home improvements.
‘As properties receive more and more viewings from interested buyers, smart sellers are seeing all the signs of strong demand in the market and are looking to capitalise on potential capital gains to be had.’
Feeling confident: Property owners in the South East are the most positive when it comes to potential rises
Property owners in London remain the most bullish about the health of the property market, with 97 per cent of homeowners in the capital expecting house prices to rise further over the next six months.
Londoners predict average price growth of 12 per cent, a third higher than the wider national average. The largest jump in confidence was found in Wales.
The proportion of owners who expect property prices to increase over the next six months in the country has risen from 85 per cent to 92 per cent in just three months.
Lawrence added: ‘Homeowners are expecting house prices to rise at a higher rate than ever before, and this confidence in the property market recovery is finally filtering out of London and across the UK.
‘With prospective sellers eager to take advantage of a buoyant market and buyers wanting to snap up the best properties before they slip out of reach, indications suggest the market will remain strong over the coming months as increased supply and buoyed confidence drives activity on all rungs of the ladder.’
Property transactions: HMRC data shows the number of homes changing hands has increased steadily since 2012
Separate data from HMRC this morning show there were 106,070 property transactions in March - the fourth month in a row the figure has been more than 100,000. In March 2013, there were 82,040.
Peter Rollings, chief at estate agents Marsh & Parsons, said: ‘The volume of property sales in March was almost a third higher than the same month last year.
‘Across the country, people are brimming with renewed confidence in the economy, with wages up, inflation down, and many people feeling better off than they have done in years.
‘This is encouraging people to make their first property purchases and oiling the wheels of the market at all levels.’
Concerns have been growing as the housing market picks up that demand from would-be buyers is increasing at a faster pace than the supply of homes coming to market, which is putting an upward pressure on house prices and making them less affordable.
The Office for National Statistics reported last week that property values have leapt 9.1 per cent year-on-year in February to a new average high of £253,000. In London, they recorded an annual rise of 17.7 per cent.