UK market leader rightmove.co.uk have undertaken a huge consumer confidence survey and the results are out.
The portal attracts over 30 million visits per month, putting it in a unique – and enviable – position for finding out what the public thinks.
The online survey received 28,000 responses in less than two weeks. rightmove.co.uk argue this makes it by far the largest property-related consumer survey.
So, during this troubling economic time, what did consumers say?
According to rightmove.co.uk consumer optimism is not dead: two thirds believe it’s a buyer’s market and almost half of all respondents plan to buy in the next 12 months, despite 7 in 10 predicting further price falls over the course of 2009. Only 1 in 4 expect the start of 2010 to be a worse time to sell a property and 1 in 6 are willing to borrow over 4 times their salary to fund a property purchase.
Miles Shipside, commercial director at rightmove.co.uk comments: “With interest rates at historic lows and set to fall further, and property deals available at around 25% below peak boom prices, buying has got a whole lot cheaper. Other assets now seem a lot less solid than bricks and mortar, so the time-to-buy pendulum is swinging from negative to positive. It’s aided by some homeowners’ mortgage repayments being the lowest they have ever experienced and the prospect of them getting even cheaper – a real turnaround from just a few months ago.”
Shipside continues: “Though there are slight regional differences, the nation is united in a more positive outlook for 2010 though confidence in the market seems to decline with age, rather than differ with geographic location. Intentions reflect this confidence, though in reality it is the sentiment amongst lenders that needs to improve before any buyers can manageably proceed.”
With rightmove.co.uk, among others, also reporting an increase in website traffic in January perhaps it is not all doom and gloom.