Owners expect house price rise

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The Independent Online
Home owners are confident the housing market will pick up, with a rise in prices and quicker house sales, according to a report released yesterday.

Two-thirds of 20,000 householders questioned expected house prices to rise in the next year. Around 6 per cent thought they would fall. Although 55 per cent interviewed thought they would have some difficulty selling their houses if put on the market, this was down from 74 per cent in 1992.

The findings come from the latest report from the Survey of English Housing, a continuous survey on the state of housing in England begun in April 1993 and published by the Office for National Statistics.

The average mortgage-holder is spending pounds 57 a week on their mortgage, while private tenants are paying pounds 70 a week, housing association tenants pounds 46 and council tenants pounds 37.

The number of owner-occupiers remains at 13.4 million (68 per cent of householders).

Another survey published yesterday has found the rise in the annual cost of living has slowed, helped by stagnating house and fuel costs. Food prices and the cost of rented housing were still forging ahead, according to the Cost of Living Survey by Reward Group for firms relocating their employees.

The survey looks at wages and costs, such as housing, food and tax. It said the cost of living rose 2.1 per cent in the last 12 months. The average family of four living in a three-bedroom house with a car and telephone need a gross income of pounds 19,238, compared with pounds 19,039 last year.