UK’s home owners buoyed by Help to Buy mortgage scheme

Ben Southwood
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HOUSEHOLDS’ expectations of future house prices jumped in April, buoyed by the prospect that government housing schemes will push up mortgage lending and housing demand.

Home owners are more optimistic about where their property value will be in 12 months than at any point since mid-2010, with an index value of 62 – where 50 indicates no change – up from the 58.4 level seen in March.

The 18-34 age range were particularly bullish on future prices, according to the figures, released this morning by Knight Frank and Markit.

As has been typical since the credit crunch, Londoners are also particularly optimistic about where their house prices will go – with an index value of 70.8 dwarfing the UK average.

“House price expectations have risen every month of 2013 so far, which marks the longest uninterrupted period of improving sentiment since the survey began over four years ago,” said Markit economist Tim Moore.

“April’s survey provides a snap-shot of how the Budget has influenced households’ perceptions of their property values – in terms of the price outlook, households reported the greatest post-Budget jump in sentiment since the stamp duty holiday extension in 2009.”

Meanwhile the data also revealed that households thought their property values had gone up in April – for the first time in almost three years.

The house price sentiment index, which forecasts official price measures, rose from 50 in March, suggesting completely flat prices, to 50.6, pointing to marginal expansion, by April.