Aug 27

Homeowner confidence high but mortgage concerns appear

UK homeowners remain very confident that property values will continue to rise over the second half of this year, but are concerned about mortgage availability as a result of new lending criteria following the Mortgage Market Review, according to the latest Zoopla Housing Market Sentiment Survey.92% of homeowners surveyed expect UK property prices to increase over the next six months, slightly down from a four year high of 95% earlier this year. And amongst the 7,810 homeowners surveyed by Zoopla, the average prediction for house price growth over the remainder of the year currently stands at 7.6%.The Mortgage Market Review MMR and associated new lending rules have both slowed down the mortgage application process and made securing finance more difficult – with 40% of those surveyed saying that securing a mortgage is now harder than it was three months ago. Despite that, 79% of UK homeowners plan to spend at least the same or more on home improvements over the next year compared to last year.For the first time in a long time, London homeowners are not the most confident across the country about house price rises in their area. The South East, the South West, the East of England and the West Midlands have all overtaken the capital in terms of homeowner confidence. With London prices having moved up so far and fast, the proportion of homeowners in the capital who expect prices to rise over the next six months has fallen from 98% to 92% over the last three months.Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk commented: “After months of consistent growth in the capital’s property market we are now seeing a slight increase in caution among London’s homeowners. More broadly, securing a mortgage appears to be getting harder now that MMR has caused lenders to be more rigorous with their lending criteria and approval process.”

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