House Price Optimism Amongst Home Owners

13th June 2012

Despite the welter of uncertain news about the housing market, optimism among home owners is on the up with more than one third expecting house prices to be higher in 12 months’ time.

Furthermore, nearly half (46%) regard today’s house prices as fair and reasonable.

According to a consumer confidence survey released by Rightmove, the public is the most upbeat for two years.

Those who cite concerns give mortgage-related issues such as mortgage availability and high deposits as one of the main reasons for their views.

But the biggest worry for half of buyers is being able to find a suitable property.

The huge survey of over 40,000 home movers showed that relatively few (6%) are worried about being able to meet mortgage payments. The same proportion is concerned about house prices changing.

Despite the housing slump of the last three years, ambitions for home ownership have not been dented by the recession.

Meanwhile, separate new research carried out among 2,000 adults for the AA Home Emergency Response service is similarly upbeat.

It reveals that of those who have bought their first home since the 2008 housing peak, 37% feel they can realistically aspire to owning a detached home.

The equivalent figure for those who bought for the first time in the 1970s is 39%, falling to 33% for first-time buyers in the 80s, and 32% for those entering the housing market in the 1990s.

Aspirations for the size of home have increased: for those buying for the first time since 2008, 22% have set their eyes on a detached house with four or five bedrooms, and 3% expect eventually to own a home with six or more bedrooms, three times the proportion of those getting their first mortgage in the 1980s.

Both men and women are equally bullish in their belief that a detached home will be within their reach, but it’s the younger generation who are most likely to feel this will be at the upper end of the market: 7% of 18 to 24-year-olds believe they will end up owning a detached home with six or more bedrooms.

The 1980s is remembered as the decade in which Margaret Thatcher’s Government heavily promoted the benefits of home ownership. However, for a quarter (24%) of those buying in that decade, a terrace home was the limit of their ambitions.

Only 15% of those buying for the first time since 2008 believe their ultimate home will be a terrace, and just 11% believe that the pinnacle of their home ownership will be an apartment.

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