January is the month for sales and attitudes towards the property market are no exception it appears.
More people think the next 12 months will be good to both buy and sell property.
That is the finding of the latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker.
Nationally, the proportion of people thinking that it will be a good time to sell in the next 12 months exceeded those who think it will be a bad time for the first time since the survey began in April 2011.
Half (51%) think it will be a good time to sell compared with 39% thinking it will be a bad time. This made a net balance of +12 compared with -6 in September.
Sentiment towards buying also improved with 63% of respondents expecting it to be a good time to buy in the next 12 months compared with 28% thinking it will be a bad time to buy (net balance of +35).
Respondents in the North East were the most optimistic with a balance of +50. While in London the difference between those thinking that it will be a good time to buy rather than a bad time is the lowest, at +18.
The proportion thinking that it will be a good time to both buy and sell over the coming 12 months increased to 38% in December from 30% in September and was significantly higher than the 9% recorded in the survey 12 months’ ago.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: “The recovery in the housing market during 2013 has resulted in a significant improvement in sentiment towards selling a property in recent months. This shift could provide a much needed increase in the supply of properties available for sale on the market during 2014, which would help to constrain upwards pressure on house prices.
"Whilst sentiment towards the residential property market has improved across the country, significant regional differences persist. The proportion thinking that it will be a bad time to sell continues to exceed those thinking it will be a good time in several parts of the country."