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Housing market confidence at 3 year high

UK homeowners are expecting house prices to rise by 4.5% over the next six months, a sign of significant confidence returning to the housing market, according to the latest research from property website Zoopla.co.uk.

This is the biggest predicted house price increase by UK homeowners in over 3 years and could signal that 2013 is set to be the best year for the property market since the financial crisis struck.

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Prices rise by £383 per day in prime Central London

Home owners in prime Central London are currently benefitting from price growth of £383 per day, the equivalent of a return air fare to New York City or Dubai, reports property consultant Cluttons in its Residential Investment Monitor Q1 2013, published today.

Following a slowdown in both the sales and lettings markets during Q4 2012, the prime Central London residential market has turned a corner, with positive growth recorded across all London regions.

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The changing face of UK housing stock

Over the last 15 years the total owner occupied housing stock has increased from 16.6 million to 17.7 million, but there has been relatively little change in the composition according to new data from Nationwide.

8.2% of owner occupied properties in England are flats, a similar level to back in 1996. There has been a slight increase in the proportion of detached houses, from 21.5% to 23.8%, offset by a slight reduction in bungalows (11.4% in 1996, now 9.7%).

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OFT probes quick house sale market

The OFT has launched a study into the "quick house sale" market and is calling for people who have used, or considered using, these businesses to contact the OFT about their experiences.

Quick house sale providers offer to buy a house or find a third party buyer very quickly, usually at a discount from the full market value.

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UK buy to let hotspots identified

Rental yields of 7.82% and private rental accommodation making up almost a quarter of its housing stock make Southampton the best place in England and Wales for buy to let (BTL) investors according to research from HSBC.

Of the 50 towns and cities with the highest concentration of private rental housing stock, Southampton topped the list for rental yield due to relatively affordable housing and an average rent of £901 per month.

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House prices grow nearly twice as fast as UK retirees’ income since 1997

Rising house prices over the last 15 years mean that many retirees are living in an increasingly valuable asset that has grown almost twice as fast as the average pensioner income, the Equity Release Council has found.

Analysis of the latest data from the Land Registry and Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that house prices have grown by 91% or £109,399 in real terms since 1997, from £120,211 to £229,610.

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Gross mortgage lending up 9% in March

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that total gross mortgage lending increased to £11.6billion in March.

This is 9% higher than February's gross lending figure of £10.6 billion but 8% lower than £12.6 billion in March 2012. However, this was just before the first-time buyer stamp duty holiday expired, distorting meaningful comparison.

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UK homeowners could save £5.9bn a year with better insulation

UK households could save an average £220 every year on their energy bills, a total nationwide annual saving of £5.9billion, by improving their insulation.

Ian Rock, author of the just-published Home Insulation Manual, bases this calculation on official Department of Energy and Climate Change and Energy Saving Trust figures.

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