86% of home-owners in the North East 'expect prices in their area to rise'

House prices could be on the rise. Picture by Rui Vieira/PA
House prices could be on the rise. Picture by Rui Vieira/PA

Almost nine in 10 home-owners expect property prices in the North East to continue marching upwards into 2016, according to recent figures.

Some 92 per cent of home-owners surveyed across Britain by Zoopla are confident that property values where they live will increase over the coming six months. On average, they expect prices to surge by 7.2 per cent over the period.

The findings from the survey of nearly 5,000 home owners suggest confidence has increased compared with a year ago, when a lower figure of 88 per cent of people were expecting house prices in their area to rise. Around five per cent of home-owners surveyed believe prices in their area will fall in the next six months, while three per cent think they will stay flat, with no change.

In signs that more properties may start trickling on to the market in the coming months, potentially giving buyers a wider choice, 19 per cent of home-owners surveyed said they are considering putting a property on the market, up from 15 per cent a year ago.

Home-owners' high expectations for property prices will not bring comfort to people struggling to get on to the housing ladder.

Half of renters unable to buy

A separate survey from Shelter among 3,800 tenants has found that nearly half of private renters in England who want to buy a home are unable to save any money towards a deposit, while a quarter are only able to save £100 or less a month. Shelter said that further house price rises will 'push the goal posts even further away for those hoping to become home-owners'.

Getting a mortgage is also seen as a growing obstacle for existing home owners, as 26 per cent of those surveyed by Zoopla think it is harder to get a home loan now than it was three months ago.

Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said this perception could be due to home owners believing that ultra-cheap mortgage deals are being taken off the market by lenders in preparation for a possible future increase in the Bank of England base rate. The base rate remains at an all-time low of 0.5 per cent.

Where are house prices on the rise?

Zoopla found that the east of England is the region of Britain where home-owners are most likely to predict price increases in the coming six months, with 97 per cent expecting values in their area to increase. Home-owners in London and the South East are nearly as confident, with 96 per cent of home-owners there expecting prices to edge upwards.

Home-owners in Scotland were found to be the least confident about property prices rising, although the vast majority (82 per cent) still expect to see prices increase. Those living in Wales and the North East were also among the least confident, with 86 per cent of home owners there expecting prices to move upwards.

Mr Hall said: "While traditionally the estate agency market tends to take a break over Christmas in terms of completions and viewings, home-owner confidence shows no sign of slowing down and many individuals use the end of the year as a landmark to evaluate how much their property has appreciated over the calendar year. The only slight chink in the armour is the fact that a sizeable number of people still feel securing a mortgage is becoming more difficult."