Improvement in access to mortgages

Within the report the following key figures were highlighted:

* 42% still see access to finance as a barrier to homeownership, the lowest figure since 2008;
* First-time buyers are finding it easier to get onto the property ladder;
* 30% of first-time buyers still say that mortgage access is preventing them from buying a home. Last year, however, this figure was closer to 50%;
* 45% predict house prices will increase over the coming year;
* Around 15% believe house prices will fall, a fall from the 25% that predicted the same thing three months ago.

There has also been a rise in the number of mortgages on the market, with approximately a third more mortgages being made available. The report credited last August’s launch of the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme as well as a mortgage price war erupting among lenders.

With these positive figures in mind, many are calling on the government to capitalise on this momentum by following it up with further measures to stimulate the housing market and to tackle what they describe as a "desperate need for more homes".

Adrian Coles, director-general of the BSA, said: "On the mortgage supply side, a number of building societies have made it clear in their results that they intend to lend more in 2013 than in 2012. However, this market is driven by demand too and this is why customer sentiment is such an important lead indicator and why [today’s] results are encouraging."

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