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Home owners confident of house price rises in the next six months

Despite the current uncertainty in the UK housing market over a possible Brexit, home owners are confident their property values will rise over the next six months, new data has revealed.

According to the latest Zoopla Housing Market Sentiment Survey, nine in 10 British home owners believe the value of their property will increase over the next six months, with an expected growth rate of 9.5%.

While analysts predict the housing market is about to cool as a result of uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming EU referendum, home owners expect their own properties to increase in value by 8.8% over the next six months – up 2% from the last survey taken in October 2015.

Homeowners in the East of England and South East England are most confident, with 96% in both regions expecting their property values to increase.

Londoners are the most confident in how much their property will increase in value, with homeowners in the capital expecting prices to go up 12.5%.

Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla, said: “Despite uncertainty around the upcoming EU referendum, this does not appear to have knocked consumer confidence levels. As you’d imagine, those who live in areas that have seen the most marked property value increases over the past few years, such as London, the East of England, and the South East, have the most confidence in further value rises over the coming months.”

The survey also revealed that getting a mortgage approved is a growing concern for British homeowners, with nearly a third (32%) believing it is now harder to get a mortgage than it was six months ago.

“What is slightly surprising is the number of homeowners that believe it is now more difficult to secure a mortgage rising to a third (from a quarter last year) despite historically low mortgage rates. This could indicate that the supply of low mortgage rates could be about to reduce as lenders try to pre-empt the Bank of England’s movements regarding the base rate,” said Hall.

The housing market is expected to slowdown in the run-up to the EU referendum after peaking earlier this year, according to experts.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors believes that prices are set to slow due to stamp duty changes, a weaker pound, Brexit and Scottish and Welsh elections in May.

However, its members feel that the longer-term outlook is a lot brighter with prices still expected to rise by more than 4% each year for the next five years across England and Wales.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “Worsening sentiment regarding the prospects for the UK economy and uncertainty ahead of the European referendum in June could result in some softening in the housing market over the next couple of months.”

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