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Homeowners in the United Kingdom (UK) are reportedly more optimistic about the potential for their home values to increase, according to a new report from Knight Frank. Reports that the UK economy have shaken off the shackles of recession have apparently helped boost homeowner sentiment. The latest House Price Sentiment Index rose from a six-month low more than five points to 55.9 thanks to an improved outlook by the majority of homeowners. The good news is tempered with warning, though, as the Bank of England makes announcements that the country could slip back into a recession amid continued struggles in the Eurozone. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

Households are more optimistic that the value of their home will rise over the next year than at any time since 2010, according to the latest House Price Sentiment Index produced by Knight Frank and Markit, a leading economics consultancy.

The jump in the future HPSI, from a six month low of 50.5 in October to 55.9, came just weeks after economic data suggested that the UK economy emerged convincingly from recession, perhaps prompting a more upbeat outlook among households. Any figure over 50 suggests prices will grow, and the higher the figure the greater the growth. Any figure under 50 signals a fall.

Households in every region except Wales (45.2) expect the value of their property to rise over the next 12 months. London leads the way (63.3), followed by the South East (61.1), but perhaps more notably, households in the North West (53.8) are expecting price growth for the first time in more than six months.

Those aged 55 and over still remain the most cautious in their outlook for prices (53.6), although this is the first time respondents in this age bracket have said they are expecting price rises since June.

Those in the 25 to 34 age bracket, the typical age for a first time buyer, expect the biggest price rises, perhaps reflecting the increased challenges they face in order to climb onto the housing ladder.

'The strong recovery from the marked slump in confidence seen in October coincides with better news from the economy, with official figures suggesting that the UK not only emerged from recession, but did so at a faster pace than expected in the third quarter,' said Grinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank.

'The more upbeat economic news seems to have lifted sentiment, especially the outlook for house prices. The last time the future house prices sentiment index reached similar highs was in the summer of 2010, which coincided with 0.7% rise in GDP in the second quarter of that year, the strongest economic performance since the initial recession, apart from the most recent 1% rise in GDP in the third quarter of 2012,' she explained.

'But more downbeat news is already emanating from the economy, with the Bank of England this week admitting that the country could slip back into recession in the fourth quarter. As such, there is a risk that the fillip to sentiment seen as a result of the better than expected GDP figures may unwind in the months to come,' she added.

According to Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, it is too early to say whether the pick up in the outlook for house prices reflects an underlying improvement in market sentiment, perhaps linked to better availability of mortgages due to the Funding For Lending Scheme.
 
'It could of course merely reflect a feel good factor arising from the better than expected growth of the economy in the third quarter. Most likely it's a combination of the two, and we will hopefully see a steady continuation of improvement in mortgage conditions in coming months,' he said.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.