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Research reveals strengthening house price sentiment

The latest House Price Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Knight Frank and IHS Markit has revealed that households throughout the UK perceive that the price of their home increased over the last month.

The reading in February was the seventh successive month that the index has sat in positive territory, to the point where it now stands at a new post-referendum high.

Key findings from February’s HPSI show that the perceived rate of house price growth increased month-on-month and households in all regions of the UK anticipate that the value of their home will rise in the next year. What’s more, respondents in ten of the 11 regions analysed by the index believe the price of their home grew in the last month, with London unsurprisingly the most upbeat.

The “opinion-based survey”, involving 1,500 households across the UK, aims to offer an up-to-date view on household sentiment rather than being based on actual transactions or applications. 

“The rise in household sentiment on house prices comes as a less cloudy picture of the UK economy starts to emerge,” Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, commented.

“It is noticeable that sentiment on the future direction of house prices has particularly picked up in the Midlands and East of England, with the index reading for February close to or stronger than the average reading in the three months before the EU vote.”

Tim Moore, senior economist at IHS Markit, added: “UK households are gaining confidence about the outlook for their property values over the course of 2017, driven by the improved economic backdrop, resilient labour market conditions and a continued boost from ultra-low mortgage rates.”

He said Brexit-related anxieties appear to have receded among buyers, although there remains a large list of factors that are likely to keep a lid on price momentum in the next 12 months, including localised affordability constraints for first-time buyers, subdued pay growth and a renewed squeeze on household budgets from a higher cost of living. 

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