London house market leading price recovery

 
Tim Wallace
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LONDON’S housing market has the strongest prospects in the country, according to a new survey, and official figures yesterday showed sales across the UK may be rising gradually.

Almost 40 per cent of Britons think house prices will rise over the next year, compared with just 20 per cent who expect a drop, leaving the Halifax housing market confidence tracker at a net balance of 19 per cent.

That is more than double the level seen in January, and the highest since the tracker began a year ago.

Price rises are expected across the country, ranging from a positive net balance of six per cent in the north east to 29 per cent in London.

And figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show 74,000 property transactions took place in March, up from 63,000 in February and 60,000 in January. March’s sales were up from 67,000 a year ago.

“It is encouraging that the level of consumer confidence in the housing market continues to improve, albeit from a very low base,” said Halifax economist Martin Ellis. “Yet we continue to expect little overall movement in prices this year.”