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Optimism over UK house price increases

The latest Knight Frank/Markit House Price Sentiment Index has highlighted a national boost in confidence regarding the property sector for the coming year, with all areas of the UK reporting positive attitudes towards value increases this year.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: "House price optimism has perked up to its highest level in over two and a half years in February, providing encouraging evidence that the property market has seen a strong start to the year."

The data highlighted individuals living in London are the most optimistic at present with an index of 64.2 - another figure above 50 signifies a belief that prices will rise - followed by those in the south-east (62.2) and Wales (60.5).

Mr Williamson added that this improving sentiment follows the introduction of a range of government schemes that are aiming to make homeownership and relocations that much easier, including the Funding for Lending scheme.

Across the UK, the national sentiment rating stands at 57.3 - up from 54.5 in January - and it is the first time since June 2011 that all 11 regions of the UK have registered scores above 50.

The news follows recent comments from Andrew Leech, director of the National Home Improvement Council, who highlighted some of the major trends in home improvement that are helping Brits to add value to their property in the current financial climate.

He revealed how more people are being attracted to adding space to their home, and for those with large enough gardens, an extension is becoming an increasingly popular choice.

Mr Leech concluded: "Rather than build a brick and concrete extension more homeowners with large enough gardens are seriously considering building a timber garden room which is less expensive, just as energy efficient and compatible with the surroundings." 

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