Homeowners expect property prices to rise around 5% by Christmas

Londoners are the most confident about house prices, those in Wales the least confident

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The Independent Online

Around 80 per cent of homeowners in the UK believe property values will rise over the next six months, the highest level for three years, according to figures from Zoopla.co.uk.

The poll of 5,863 homeowners found that four out of five of them predict prices will rise in their area before the end of the year, the biggest proportion since 2010. Only seven per cent of homeowners think house prices will fall between now and Christmas, down from 13 per cent three month ago.

UK homeowners also predict property prices will increase by an average of 4.8 per cent over the next six months and 26 per cent feel that getting a mortgage now is easier than three months ago. 

The biggest increase in confidence amongst homeowners is in the West Midlands, where 78 per cent of homeowners now believe house prices will climb in their region over the next six months though Londoners remain the most confident at 93 per cent. Homeowners in Wales are the most pessimistic, with 13 per cent still predicting a fall in the property values by the start of 2014.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla said: "Homeowner confidence is crucial to a healthy housing market. Without it sales activity tends to be low, which jams the brakes on the entire property chain. The trials and tribulations of the financial crisis drained confidence out of the market, but it is making a strong comeback.

"With mortgage availability improving considerably in the last few months, the first-time buyer market is moving again and revving the engine of the whole housing market. And the improvement in confidence isn’t limited to just London and the South East, it’s sweeping across the whole of the UK."

The Office for National Statistics house price figures released today show that in the 12 months to May this year, UK ouse prices rose by 2.9 per cent. Prices paid by first time buyers in May were 4.1 per cent higher than the same month last year.