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The majority of Europeans expect house prices to continue to rise in the next year, except the U.K. whose confidence in the housing market has been shaken since the vote to leave the European Union, according to a survey by the Dutch bank ING.
The results of the fifth annual "ING International Survey – Homes and Mortgages" found 56 percent of European consumers said they expected house prices to rise in the next 12 months, unchanged on the year before.
The survey's accompanying report said this indicated confidence was levelling off.
However, confidence fell significantly in the U.K., from 70 percent in 2015 to 57 percent this year. The pollsters decided to ask U.K. consumers the same question again after the June referendum on membership of the European Union, and found confidence had slipped once again. Just 46 percent of people in the U.K. now believe house prices will rise next year.
Belief that house prices are rising is also affecting people's life choices. A third of European consumers said they were delaying important life decisions because of rising prices.
For instance, 29 percent of this group said they could not afford to live alone, 16 percent said they were delaying having children, 11 percent were delaying marriage and 12 percent said they could not retire.
"Across Europe, expectations that house prices will rise has hit a plateau, but people are still finding that the house prices where they live are expensive," said Ian Bright, senior economist at ING, in a press release.
"It's worrying that this is increasingly leading them to delay important life decisions, such as postponing retirement, changing jobs or having more children."
The ING International Survey compiled data from 15,000 people in 15 countries using internet-based polling.
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