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South East borrowers expect house price leap

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Borrowers and homeowners were the most upbeat about rising house prices this month as optimism hit a three year high, the Knight Frank house price sentiment index revealed.

Those who owned their homes outright were the most likely to expect house prices to rise over the next twelve months, followed by those with a mortgage, according to the survey, which was carried out by Markit.

Council tenants were the least optimistic about house prices.

While the overall index reading of 55.3 was slightly lower than July’s 56.8, it still marks the second highest reading since the spring of 2010.

Knight Frank UK residential research head Gráinne Gilmore said: “There are still many factors acting to underpin the market, including Funding for Lending, which has helped drive down mortgage rates, the Help to Buy equity loan and the anticipation of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee which will start in January.

“This is feeding through to rising activity, with mortgage lending for house purchases starting to climb. Rising levels of activity are feeding back into confidence levels among households.”

The index revealed regional differences in house price expectations – those in the South East were most optimistic about rising house prices, followed by Londoners.

Over the longer-term, the data indicated the longest period of positivity on prices in nearly three years.

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