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Buyer sentiment reveals green shoots

A whopping 78% of respondents to Rightmove’s Q3 Consumer Confidence Survey do not expect property prices to fall any further over the next year.

This compares to 66% of people who in January believed that house prices would be lower in the following 12 months, according to the survey.

Over 36,000 Rightmove users were polled for the Q3 survey, which is revealed this week and covers a range of issues relating to the UK property market.

Miles Shipside, commercial director for the portal, says: “With increasingly positive public sentiment supported by encouraging recent market reports, the UK property industry is now seeing a virtuous circle of confidence building upon confidence.

“This vote of confidence has positive and negative connotations. The sentiment of future buyers is a pre-cursor to a speedier recovery in depressed transaction levels. However, it is also a signal that some of them will be willing to pay a bit more. This will give encouragement to many existing homeowners with borderline equity, but cause concern to a potential buyer hoping their own mortgage ability improves before any significant price uplift.”

The survey follows the publication of Rightmove's half-year results last week. The portal's shares soared 19% to 508.50p last Friday after it claimed that although it would not match the operating profit it generated in 2008, it is confident of exceeding market expectations for 2009 and achieving further growth in 2010.

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