Just 14% of Britons think now is a good time to sell

Only 14% of Britons believe now is a good time to sell property, the latest Halifax housing market confidence tracker shows.

That is compared to 50% of people who think it would be a good time to buy over the next three months, while only 15% were positive about both buying and selling in the next 12 months.

The survey also shows more Brits expect house prices to rise rather than fall over the next 12 months – one in three predicted an increase in prices while 23% expect a fall.

The majority of Britons think that any house price movement over the next year will be relatively small with more than half, 57%, expecting any change to be between +5% and -5%.

A further 26% think that house prices will remain the same, while 24% believe there will be increases and decreases of 5% or more.

The research also reveals consumers’ concerns about the outlook for the economy, with 26% of respondents expecting their personal financial circumstances to worsen over the next few months and a further 54% anticipating no improvement.

Furthermore, 52% of those asked cited worries about job security as one of the main hurdles to buying property, while household finances (31%) and concerns about rising interest rates (22%) also ranked highly as barriers to purchasing a house.

The research also shows that 50% of consumers think that raising a deposit is a major barrier to home buying, while 27% think the general availability of mortgages is one of the main obstacles to buying a property.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Halifax, says: “More Britons expect house prices to rise rather than fall over the next year. This is likely to partly reflect the relatively low burden of servicing mortgage debt.

“However, confidence in the UK housing market is likely to remain subdued over the coming months, given consumers’ concerns over the outlook for the UK economy in general, and the jobs market in particular.”

The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Halifax and interviewing took place from April 8-14 2011.