Britons' House-Price Expectations Stay Near Three-Year Low

(Bloomberg) -- Britons’ confidence in the housing market stayed near a three-year low in March as sentiment toward the economic outlook soured, according to Halifax.

An index of home-value expectations climbed to 44 from 42 in October, when Brexit pushed it down by a record to its lowest level since June 2013, the lender said on Friday. Fifty-eight percent of respondents predict prices will advance over the next 12 months, with 14 percent forecasting decreases.

The report adds to evidence that the property market is cooling under Brexit after prices boomed in the past decade. A measure of Britons’ expectations for the economy over the next year compiled by Ipsos MORI fell to its weakest level in five years last month, Halifax said. House price growth has weakened to the slowest in almost four years.

“Confidence in the housing market is potentially settling into a new lower ‘normal,’” said Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist. “We are seeing a renewed drop in confidence amongst consumers regarding the general economic outlook, which is coinciding with the U.K. government starting its two-year period of EU exit negotiations.”

In the survey, the balance of people who think the next 12 months would be a good time to sell increased, while a gauge of buying sentiment declined to its lowest since September 2014. Londoners were the least positive on buying prospects compared to the rest of the U.K.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Halifax, questioned 1,958 adults between March 23 and April 3.