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Homeowner confidence grows

Positive signals have emerged for the housing market in the first quarter of 2012 with a rise in the number of British homeowners who expect house prices to climb over the next six months.

According to the latest Housing Market Sentiment Survey, two out of three (67%) British homeowners are confident of house prices rising by the Autumn. This is the highest proportion of homeowners predicting property price growth since the first half of 2010 and in stark contrast to sentiment at the end of 2011 when only 55% of owners were predicting prices to climb.

In addition to the rise in overall confidence, homeowners are also more bullish now about how much they expect average house prices to rise over the next six months. At the end of 2011, owners expected prices in their local area to increase 2.2% on average. Over the last quarter this has risen to 3.9% – again, the highest price growth expectation in almost two years.

There has also been an improvement in sentiment towards mortgage financing with an increase in the number of property owners reporting that it is now easier to secure a mortgage than it was at the end of 2011. 17% of respondents believe mortgage availability has improved, up from 11% last quarter.