Housing news to bring cheer as UK sales rise

HOUSING and mortgage figures due out this week are expected to deliver good news for the economy, with evidence the home market is steadily picking up.

Hometrack figures released yesterday showed London prices rose 0.9 per cent on the month and increased 0.1 per cent nationwide.

Meanwhile the Nationwide Building Society measure of UK house prices, due on Thursday, is also expected to show the recovery continuing.

“We forecast house price data to show that house prices rose by 0.3 per cent month-on-month in May. This would cause house prices to be up by 0.9 per cent year-on-year,” said Howard Archer, of IHS Global Insight.

“We expect house prices to achieve a modest gain of a few per cent or so over 2013, as activity picks up modestly supported by initiatives such as the Funding for Lending Scheme and Help to Buy.”

Official GfK consumer confidence data in the UK on Friday is expected to show slight improvement, though it is still fairly low. Lloyds Business Barometer, which shows companies’ optimism regarding economic prospects, is also due out at the end of the week, along with mortgage and lending figures.

With both the UK and US markets closed for a public holiday yesterday, European shares edged higher but with only thin volume.

They rebounded after a sharp two-session drop, with Fiat surging on speculation the Italian carmaker could soon launch a buyout offer for US unit Chrysler.

The Euro STOXX 50 index ended 1.1 per cent higher, at 2,795 points, after suffering a 2.5 per cent drop in two days. Volumes on the Eurozone’s blue-chip index represented only about 40 per cent of its daily average volume of the past three months.

The UK corporate calendar this week is also expected to be quiet.

Full-year results are due today from Anglo Asian Mining, JSC Halyk Bank, Westminster Group and Volex.

Victrex and Seadrill Partners will also update the market.

Tomorrow Digital Barriers, Iomart Group, Mckay Securities, Scapa Group, Telford Homes, Torotrak, De La Rue and TR Property Investment Trust are due to give end-of-year figures.

Brewin Dolphin Holdings and Espirito Santo are due to give interim figures.

On Thursday Severn Trent, Tate & Lyle and Sound Oil are set to give full-year results while Standard Life European Private Equity Trust, Kingfisher and Public Power are also expected to give financial updates.

Finally on Friday Fastjet, and LondonMetric Property will give full-year results while Frontline will also report.