Confidence returns to house price market

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Confidence in the housing market has hit a two-and-a-half year high, with four out of five people expecting property prices to continue rising, a survey showed today.

Around 81% of people think house prices will rise further during the coming six months, with just 9% of people predicting they will fall, according to property website Zoopla.co.uk.



Those who expect house prices to rise think property values will increase by an average of 5.7% between now and the beginning of October.



The survey marks a significant turnaround from when the same research was carried out a year ago, when only 30% of people thought house prices would increase in the near future.



But potential buyers continue to see mortgage availability as a major barrier to buying a home, with only one in five people saying they thought it was now easier to get a mortgage than it was three months ago.



The coming General Election is also creating uncertainty in the market, with 23% of people saying they planned to wait until after the election before making a decision on whether to buy a new home.



Nicholas Leeming, commercial director of Zoopla.co.uk, said: "With the bad weather behind us and the recent stamp duty relief introduced for first-time buyers, confidence in the property market has bounced back well.



"Despite the optimism, significant concerns remain around the supply of mortgages and whilst affordability levels are now higher than at any time in the past few years the lack of mortgage funding, especially for first-time buyers, remains the single biggest threat to a full housing market recovery."



* Zoopla questioned 7,497 users during March.

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