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Homeowners increasingly optimistic about price rises

Twenty and thirtysomethings are the strongest believers in house price rises in 2013

Around 13.5 per cent of the 1,500 homeowners surveyed across the UK by Knight Frank/Markit believe that the value of their home has risen over the last month. This is the highest proportion since June 2010.

A total of nine per cent felt that the value had fallen.

Householders in London reported that the value of their home had risen at a faster rate over the last month than at any time since February 2009, although homeowners in all regions expect the value of their property to rise over the next year.

Although the value of sentiment surveys is often discounted, the researchers point out that they tend to move ahead of mainstream house price indices, rather than using historic evidence from transactions or mortgage market evidence.

Those aged between 25 and 34 are the strongest believers in house price rises over the next 12 months.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said: “Optimism that the Government’s Help to Buy scheme will have a positive impact on house price movements remains strong this month, the index suggests, especially among first-time buyers. While the headline data suggests a sea-change in sentiment over the future movement of house prices across the country, the regional data still shows a more patchwork picture."

Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said: "At present it seems households are coalescing behind the view that property values are starting to rise after a prolonged period of stagnation. Improving mortgage conditions and a more favourable economic news flow helped underpin the latest climb in sentiment.  For the time being at least, better mortgage affordability is acting to offset the underlying drag from weak UK labour market conditions.

"The recent extension of the Funding for Lending Scheme is expected to boost secured lending to households and generate a pick-up in mortgage approvals over the months ahead."