Rising consumer confidence in the housing market has come to an end after three months of steady inc...
Rising consumer confidence in the housing market has come to an end after three months of steady increases, a Woolwich survey says.
Latest figures from the mortgage lender show that month-on-month confidence has reach a standstill - falling 1% since June from 56% to 55%.
This comes as "the boost in optimism that has been evident in the UK housing market over the past three months looks to be easing," the lender says.
Andy Gray, head of mortgages for Woolwich, says that the "confidence bubble" experienced in recent months may have reach its final destination as the events that lifted consumer confidence seem to have run their course.
Woolwich also believes consumer confidence is set to cool further in coming months, and expects annualised house price inflation to slow down to around 8% by the end of the year.
Fewer first-time buyers entering the market and increasing levels of personal debt are effecting a downwards-spiralling trend, the lender says.
Slower earnings growth, lower bonus payments, and higher household taxes will also negatively effect the housing market.
But, while painting a pessimistic picture about consumer confidence, Gray still predicts a 'soft landing' for the housing market.
"As the cost of borrowing remains at historically low levels we are not expecting dark days ahead and, similar to the sweltering highs we have seen this summer, we expect the housing market will moderate to a more comfortable temperature."
Somewhat contradicting this outlook is the latest survey from Rightmove.co.uk showing that the housing market is stabilising and might even rebound.
The property website deems that home buying activity is on the up throughout the UK as demand exceeds supply, and as the leveling-off in asking prices is encouraging buyers back into the market.
There are also signs that the time needed to sell a property is beginning to shorten. In London, it takes 1.6 fewer days to sell a house compared to last month, while nationwide the figure was stable.
Rightmove says: "If asking prices stay stable and demand continues to encourage buyers back we could see the turning point in the market as conditions ripen for a potential autumn surge."
'Fewer than 1% of firms PROD-compliant' - Rory Percival
'Left holding the can'
'VCTs and EIS compared' panel
Letter to Women and Equalities Committee
Decumulation panel debate