Britons still subdued over housing market outlook

21 Apr, 2017 8:36 am

LONDON – Britons’ expectations for house prices for the coming year remain subdued following last year’s Brexit vote, a survey from mortgage lender Halifax showed on Friday.

Some 58 percent of Britons expect house prices to rise over the next 12 months, but most of these expect an increase of less than 5 percent. Around 23 percent expect prices to be unchanged, while 14 percent expect a fall.

The size of the majority expecting a rise was slightly bigger than in October, but still some way below its average level in the three years leading up to last year’s June’s vote to leave the European Union, Halifax said.

Other surveys of consumer sentiment suggest Britons are cautious about the economic outlook ahead of Brexit, despite remaining fairly upbeat about conditions currently.

“House price optimism is little changed since the October 2016 measure, which is significant because it was the first post-Brexit survey and recorded the steepest fall since the tracker began,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist.

“The latest results suggest that consumer confidence in the housing market is potentially settling into a new lower ‘normal’.”

Halifax’s measure of annual house price growth has more than halved over the past 12 months and stood at just under 4 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

Friday’s survey showed Britons were most pessimistic about the outlook for house prices in London and most optimistic in Wales. -Reuters

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