The industry might be awash with concerns over the rapid rate of house price inflation, but it seems it isn't all bad news. In fact, the general upturn of the housing market has been met with increased positivity among sellers, with many being far more confident over the state of the market as a whole and their ability to sell their home.
According to the latest Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker, around 56% of those surveyed believe it will be a good time to sell in the next 12 months, far exceeding those who think it'll be a bad time (32%) to give a net balance of +24. Confidence is rising too, with this balance being up from +12 in the last three months of 2013 and a big difference from the -6 recorded the previous quarter, and as an even bigger boost it's also the highest score recorded since the survey began in April 2011.
Figures among owner-occupiers are even stronger with 62% stating that now is a good time to sell, showing the sheer strength of the recovery and the level of confidence among those already on the housing ladder.
It's not all about sellers though as the figures are equally as positive among buyers, indicating that positivity is returning across the sector. A full 60% of respondents think it'll be a good time to buy in the next year compared to just 26% who think it'll be a bad time, figures that have remained largely unchanged from the last quarter which would suggest market stability.
It's great news for the housing market with both buyers and sellers being confident in their prospects, and although 71% of those surveyed think house prices will rise over the next year – with the majority (38%) expecting a rise of between 5 and 15% – it doesn't seem to be putting them off. The run of low mortgage rates could be having a positive impact too, with people realising it's still affordable to get on, or move up, the ladder.
"We've seen a strong start to the year with transaction volumes rising," said Craig McKinlay of Halifax, "with the overall sentiment regarding the outlook for the housing market continuing to improve. The increase in optimism is partly due to stronger house prices and this shift could provide a much-needed increase in the supply of properties available for sale during the rest of the year."
If more people are looking to sell their home it means there'll be more properties on the market to cater to the increased level of demand, so it's a win-win situation – and ideally means house prices won't rise too excessively either.
However, despite this level of optimism there are still some lingering concerns, particularly among those yet to get on the housing ladder. Being able to raise enough money for a sufficient deposit is still seen as the biggest barrier to buying, a concern that hampers 60% of those surveyed, which is why being prepared is so important.
Getting into an appropriate savings habit is key, as is finding the best rates, thereby ensuring you're able to meet your goal as quickly as possible. The increased availability of 95% loan-to-value mortgages should help too, reducing your initial deposit requirement and hopefully meaning you'll be ale to get on the ladder sooner than you thought.
With such increased positivity in the sector it's a great time to get on board, and whether you're buying or selling you'll want to make the most of what you've got. Check out our pick of the best mortgage rates to see if your dream home could be more affordable than you thought, and take advantage of increased confidence in the mortgage market to make that dream a reality.
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