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Confidence in housing market falls

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Brits are less confident about the housing market, despite interest rates remaining at a historically low level.

Research into the market by Halifax found confidence at +58 in April. This was down 6 points on the previous month.

This is despite the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee keeping the base rate at its current level of 0.5%.

The number of people who believe it is a good time to sell dropped from +33 to +30 between March and April, reflecting this reduced confidence among homeowners.

At the same time the level of people who said it was a good time to buy a home rose from +21 to +26, suggesting buyers believe there is value in the market at present.

Almost two-thirds of people (63%) expected the average house price to be higher in a year’s time –lower than the 67% who said this in March.

This is despite a number of supposedly positive influences on the market such as low mortgage rates, slow growth in GDP and negative inflation.

Halifax said it expects consumer confidence in the housing market to increase in the coming months.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “With inflation now at its lowest level since records began, unemployment falling, and the economy still growing, the fundamentals for the housing market remain positive. Going forward the key factor in how consumers adjust to any changes in rates will be the way in which they manage their disposable income.”

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