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House price confidence at three-year low

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Optimism about property prices has slumped in the last six months, a report suggests.

House price confidence in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in three years, according to Halifax.

The lender regularly tracks consumer sentiment on whether house prices will be higher or lower in a year’s time, and its latest survey reveals a sharp decline in optimism since it last gauged opinion in March. The index dropped by the largest amount since 2011, to its lowest point in three years.

Majority bullish

Despite this, a clear majority at 57% still expect the average UK price to be higher in a year’s time, more than three times the proportion who expect a lower average at 15%.

Around a third of people or 33% think that the next 12 months will be a good time to either buy or sell.

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “Optimism in the housing market has taken a fall in recent months, with many people now expecting a general slowdown in the market and no, or little, change in house prices over the coming year. This sentiment is consistent with recent findings from the Halifax House Price Index which show that prices are still growing, but to a lesser extent.

“Confidence in the wider economy has tracked down sharply since May 2015 but encouragingly, optimism has bounced back to where it was a year ago and is broadly neutral.”

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