Zoopla says high levels of consumer confidence in the market may be challenged by lack of lending – 7th July 2010

Zoopla.co.uk the property portal website was founded with the mission to provide the most useful online property experience by: 

–         displaying property listings along with value and price trend information
–         providing rich property data and local market information in one place
–         enabling users to search for property in a variety of customised ways
–         allowing users to engage with professionals

–         building relationships between home owners and local estate agents 

Zoopla claim the title of the “UK’s fastest growing property website” and have been named ‘Best Property Portal 2009’ (Daily Mail UK Property Awards).

In a survey of over 5000 of their registered users between the 7th and 14th June they identified deterioration in consumer confidence. 

Homeowners expecting house prices to rise drops from 81% to 78%
77% surveyed say mortgage funding is no easier to get now than 3 months ago
Worry about job losses and interest rate hikes hangs over the property market
Zoopla said “Whilst 78% of homeowners think that property prices will rise over the next six months, according to the latest Housing Market Sentiment Survey from property website Zoopla.co.uk, this figure has fallen from 81% three moths ago as concerns grow around the availability of mortgage finance persist.
The average respondent expects house prices to rise by 5.5% from current levels by the end of the year.

However, although confidence remains relatively high, concerns remain around mortgage availability with one in three (34%) of those surveyed citing this as the biggest continued threat to the health of the property market and more respondents (27%) saying it is now harder to get a mortgage than 3 months ago than those saying it is easier (23%). Other key concerns to a continued recovery in the housing market were a potential rise in interest rates for 25% of respondents and the impact of job losses in the public sector for 21%.” 

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: “Confidence amongst homeowners remains high for the time being, but the dip does signal a directional shift as concerns are building again around the outlook for the property market. The fear remains that the revival in the housing market will be derailed unless the banks make a concerted effort to increase lending. With job cuts looming in the public sector and interest rate hikes expected at some point, the new government has its work cut out for it to ensure that home ownership remains affordable and attainable for most people.”
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