Tuesday, October 30, 2012
More people in Scotland expect house prices to rise than fall
over the coming twelve months, according to the latest Bank of
Scotland Housing Market Confidence tracker.
29% of respondents forecast that house prices will rise over the
next year, whilst 25% of respondents predict a decline in prices
over the same period.
This means that the headline House Price Outlook balance (i.e.
the difference between the proportion of people that expect house
prices to rise rather than fall) stood at +4 in October. Although
this is slightly lower than the reading of +6 in June, it is
significantly stronger than the -17 recorded in October 2011.The
majority think that any house price change over the next twelve
months will be relatively small with more than half (56%) expecting
any movement to be between +5% and -5%.
However, headline House Price Outlook balance in Scotland
remains among the lowest in Great Britain. Those living in Scotland
and the East Midlands are currently the most pessimistic about the
outlook for house prices (both +4%), followed by Yorkshire and the
Humber (+5). In contrast, those living in the South West of England
are the most optimistic with an overall net balance of +19%,
closely followed by those living in London (+17%).
Concerns over job security and raising a deposit
continue to trouble buyers.
More than half the respondents highlighted the challenges in
raising a deposit (59%) and concerns about job security (54%) as
the main barriers to buying a home in Scotland. Respondents also
picked out the general availability of mortgages (35%) and
household finances (25%) as major hurdles to home buying.
Public sentiment still points to a buyers' market
Over half the respondents (57%) think that it will be a good
time to buy in the next 12 months. This is more than eleven times
the proportion of those living in Scotland that feel it will be a
good time to sell (5%). Overall, just 2% were positive about both
buying and selling over the next year, suggesting that the level of
housing market activity is likely to remain subdued.
Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Bank of Scotland,
"Despite some recent weakness, the general improvement in
confidence in the outlook for house prices over the past year
reflects the relative resilience of the Scottish housing market.
Although the weak economic climate remains a significant constraint
on housing demand, the low level of mortgage payments relative to
income continues to provide support for house prices."