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Woolwich consumer confidence points towards blooming housing market

14 March 2005
The Woolwich consumer confidence tracking index has revealed that not much less than half the homeowners in the UK are confident in the possibility that their property will increase in value, bringing hopes that the housing market will bloom in the spring.

According to the Woolwich, 45 per cent of homeowners questioned in February believed their property would continue to increase in value, compared with 40 per cent in January.

The five per cent increase is the greatest for a February since the index began in 1988.

"The next few months are traditionally a time of increasing buying and selling in the housing market, as people shake off the winter blues," Andy Gray, head of mortgages for Barclays and Woolwich, explained.

Mr Gray added that the fact interest rates have remained unchanged for seven months (and will remain so for another month after yesterday's Bank of England decision) was a factor.

The index provides reasonable evidence that the housing market is picking up after last year's slump, despite the figures being lower than the February average of 57 per cent for the last three years.

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