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House Prices Set to Fall as Consumer Confidence Nosedives

With growing public concern that house prices could fall in the near future, vendors who need to sell are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place.

The latest figures released by Halifax from their house price optimism index have painted a worrying picture for those who are looking to sell their house fast.

Since hitting a peak prior to the General Election in May 2015, the index, which reflects consumer confidence in the property market has dropped over 38 points – hitting a five-year low. Even more worrying is the fact that one in five of those questioned believe that house prices will fall over the next 12 months.

While experts have found themselves at loggerheads as to whether this will be a short or long-term issue, for those looking to buy, the news is sure to be welcomed with open arms.

However, with the UK’s impending exit from the European Union slowly approaching, the question remains whether potential buyers are willing to buy now and risk negative equity if prices fall further, or wait until the political fiasco has come to a close before hedging their bets.

The only location in the UK that so far seems unaffected by the release of these figures is the capital, where buyers and sellers both appear to have confidence in the increasing value of residential properties. Outside of London, however, sellers are undoubtedly experiencing a feeling of unease.

“Housing market optimism has declined significantly over the past year, with almost half of people expecting a general slowdown in the market,” said Russell Galley, managing director of Halifax Community Bank.

“Even with a potential base rate increase on the horizon it’s significant that buyers’ concerns continue to be centred on raising deposits and job security and, as such, we do not anticipate that an increase in the base rate will have a significant effect on the demand for properties.”

Many within the industry believe that this national mindset is reflected in the 5.9% reduction in the number of completed sales across the country since September, despite the continued increase of average house prices.

For current owners, there appears to be two paths available. Either they can attempt to sell their house in a short-time frame before the possibility of price drops are realised, or they can stay-put and hope that once the market becomes settled once again, they can continue to profit from their property investments.

For vendors who hope to sell before prices fall, they can always discuss their predicament with property buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who will always buy their homes for cash regardless of location or condition with most sales completed within 7 days.

Worried about the state of the market? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

© marc falardeau (CC-BY 2.0)
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