Homeowners encouraged to sell now

in Q1 2014 56% consider it a good time to sell in the next 12 months, while for owner occupiers this figure is as high as 62%.

Six in 10 of respondents also expect the next 12 months to be a good time to buy compared to 26% who think it will be a bad time, making a net balance of +34.

Nearly three-quarters of Brits expect UK house prices to rise over the next year, with nearly four in 10 anticipating a rise between 5% and 15%.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “We’ve seen a strong start to the year with transaction volumes rising, with the overall sentiment regarding the outlook for the housing market continuing to improve.

“The increase in optimism is partly due to stronger house prices and this shift could provide a much needed increase in the supply of properties available for sale during the rest of the year.”

Regionally, positive sentiment towards selling is highest in the East and South East, where 65% think it will be a good time, compared with only 36% in Scotland.

Respondents in Wales are most positive about buying, with a net balance of +62, compared to just +31 three months ago.

In London the figure is more balanced, with +4 thinking it will be a good time to buy, a drop from +18 in Q4 2013.