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People 'more confident in housing market'

The public's confidence in the housing market has increased, according to new research. A consumer confidence survey carried out by Lloyds found there was a five percentage point improvement in optimism surrounding housing in November. However, despite this boost, the public perception is still a negative one, currently sitting at a level of minus ten per cent. This ties into an overall improvement in consumer confidence, with people now more optimistic about their personal finances than at any other point since Lloyds started its survey in 2011. Confidence on this front was at a level of plus 21 per cent, up an impressive 14 percentage points on the same period 12 months earlier.Greg Coughlan, director of personal current accounts at Lloyds Bank, commented: "The improvements we have seen over the course of the year are of great benefit to consumers. With consumer confidence at an all-time high for the end of 2014, this will hopefully help bolster spending into the new year."On a regional basis, people living in the south-west are most confident about housing. Sentiment in this part of the country rose by 17 percentage points between October and November, reaching a level of minus four per cent.In contrast, Northern Ireland has the lowest level of optimism. Confidence here fell by 13 percentage points, dropping down to minus 34 per cent.Lloyds' research follows on from the December 2014 Issues index from The Economist and Ipsos MORI. This showed housing is still not seen as being among the ten most pressing issues for UK voters, a position it has not held since September.The fact public confidence in the housing market seems to be growing may be one explanation as to why this is the case.However, with house prices expected to continue to grow and repeated discussions regarding the 'housing crisis', it will be interesting to see if this optimism can be maintained. 

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