UK consumers 'expect' 3.2% house price increase in next six months

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Consumers in the UK expect houses prices in Britain to rise by 3.2 per cent in the next six months, according to new research by Nationwide.

The prediction, which does not bode well for people planning to apply for a mortgage in the coming months, was revealed as part of the building society's consumer confidence index.

However, the expected price rise is also in line with Nationwide's belief that the housing market will 'cool' during the final months of 2007.

The index for September found that consumer confidence had risen in the past month and Nationwide's chief economist Fionnuala Earley believes high employment has helped to keep the British public happy.

She explained: "When people feel secure in their employment it is perhaps not surprising that their general confidence levels are more robust.

"The effect of the recent financial turmoil on overall economic, and hence labour market conditions, is therefore crucial to consumers' confidence going forward."

Nationwide's research on housing costs has come several days after research from Hometrack claimed property prices had remained static in the past month.

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