Young people increasingly optimistic about house prices

Over-45s expect house prices to fall over the next 12 months while those under 45 expect prices to rise

More people expect house prices to rise than fall over the coming year, with a third forecasting that the average UK house price will rise over the next 12 months. Only a fifth predict a decline in prices over the same period.

"Confidence in the housing market has weakened a little over the last three months, reflecting the increased uncertainty regarding the economic outlook," said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax which released the figures today. "The public's confidence in the housing market, however, has been very resilient so far this year. Overall, we expect little change in prices and sales over the remainder of the year provided that the UK's economic outlook does not deteriorate significantly."

Those living in London and Wales are the most confident about the prospects for the housing market, followed by the South East and the East of England. People in the East Midlands have the least positive outlook for house prices, followed by the North East.

Men appear to be slightly more optimistic than women about house price prospects, with 38% of men predicting that house prices nationally will increase over the next year compared with 32% of women.

In terms of age, 16-24 year olds and 25-34s are the most optimistic regarding house prices. These findings coincide with the latest survey from Knight Frank/Markit which found a marked difference in outlook for house prices among those who are under and over 45.

All age groups under 45 expect house prices to rise over the next year, while all of those aged over 45 expect prices to fall.

“The age ‘gap’ between those over and under 45 is perhaps some reflection of how the economic developments are affecting those at different times of their life," said Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank. "It is typically older homeowners who own their house outright or who have paid off a significant chunk of their mortgage. These households seem to be preparing themselves for an erosion of the value of their asset as house prices fall. In contrast, younger families and individuals face an uphill battle to move home or get on to the housing ladder, and if prices rise as they expect, this will exacerbate their problems."

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said: “Twice as many households reported a drop in their property value as those that saw a rise in July, and the national balance would have been far lower without the positivity recorded in London. Looking ahead, the survey shows that house price expectations in the capital have long been detached from the rest of the UK."

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