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April 7, 2010    

Britons confident of house price gains

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by Gill Montia

Britons appear to have regained their confidence in the UK housing market with new research claiming that four out five people expect house prices to continue rising during the next six months.

According to property website, Zoopla.co.uk, optimism is at a two-and-a-half year high, with the average increase predicted at 5.7%.

The firm’s commercial director, Nicholas Leeming, says: “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.”

However, Mr Leeming has “significant concerns” regarding the current lack of mortgage finance, particularly for first-time buyers, which he regards as the biggest threat to a full recovery of the market.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has recently expressed similar concerns, pointing out that while the funding markets remain difficult the flow of available housing finance will be limited, as will house price rises.

Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has reported a shift in balance in the UK housing market, with new instructions for house sales beginning to outpace new buyer interest.

According to the RICS, market indicators are still positive and consistent with further house price increases but the size of any gains will ease in the months ahead.

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