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Housing market confidence 'growing'

Confidence in the housing market is growing, assisted by Government-backed initiatives such as Help to Buy, according to newly published research.

The scheme is particularly popular with young people, the study found.

The YouGov research for property services group Countrywide found that 51% of homeowners think the value of their home will increase in 12 months' time, an increase of 17% from the last such survey, in November 2012.

More than half (56%) of 18 to 24-year-olds believe they are likely to use the Help to Buy scheme compared to around a quarter of those aged between 25 and 54.

Around a third of private renters think they are likely to use it to buy a property in the next three years, around double the 16% of homeowners who are considering it.

The study found that location is the most important factor when buying a property. Some 36% of people buying a property within the next three years would be least likely to compromise on location. This rises to 47% among 35 to 44-year-olds compared with just 26% of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Just under one in five (18%) of British adults are currently prevented from buying a property or moving home because they are unable to afford a deposit, a decrease of 5% from the results in November 2012.

Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide, said: " The survey findings reaffirm what our property experts view on a daily basis when dealing with many people looking to move home. There are signs of a rebalance in the housing market as recovery in housing volumes gathers momentum.

"Greater availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages, improving economic conditions, lower unemployment and the implementation of Government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy, have given consumers reasons to feel confident.

"It is significant that one in three GB adults who plan on buying their first home or moving home within the next three years would be likely to use the Help to Buy scheme.

"It is encouraging to see that consumers are more enthused by the current housing market conditions and 51% of homeowners think that the value of their home will increase in 12 months' time. It is also pleasing to see that over half of 18 to 24-year-olds believe they are likely to use the Help to Buy scheme and fewer homebuyers feel they are prevented from getting on or moving up the housing ladder because of deposit affordability, when compared to our November 2012 survey.

"Young people have shown their appetite for home ownership remains unsuppressed and most realise that they will have to compromise to get on to the housing ladder. With only a quarter of under 25-year-olds unwilling to compromise on location, it suggests that young people are taking a more pragmatic approach to buying a property rather than holding out or stretching themselves to buy in an area they can't afford.

"We expect to see more first time buyers and homeowners enter the housing market in 2014, as the property market and wider economic conditions show further signs of improvement and these results would back up that view."

:: YouGov interviewed 2,065 GB adults aged 18 or older online between December 20 and 23. Those interviewed included private rental tenants, homeowners with mortgages, shared equity stakeholders, owner occupiers and those living rent-free.


From Belfast Telegraph