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Confidence returning to UK property market

The latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents show that the average estate agency in the UK sold ten properties in April, compared to just eight in the previous month.

'What we are beginning to see now are consistent positive indicators that have held firm or improved since the beginning of the year,' said Chief executive of the NAEA, Peter Bolton King.

The organisation's Housing Market Survey also shows that estate agents in the UK had an average of 265 people registered with them in April, slightly down on March's figure but high in comparison to the previous 12 months.

The number of first-time buyers held firm at 23%, the same level seen in March. The average number of properties available for sale increased from an average of 67 in March to 76 in April.

And the success of estate agents last month represents a move away from the low point of around five houses sold per property professional in August.

The NAEA said it is evidence that attitudes toward the UK property market are not likely to change for good because of the credit crunch.

'The NAEA always said that this was nonsense and that demand for property remained strong, but confidence in the market had gone. These figures show that this confidence is returning,' said Bolton King.

He also believes that there are other indicators such as an increase in interest from first time buyers that confidence is returning to the market. 'First time buyers believe that there are bargains to be had in property at the moment. Every measure by every organisation has shown that the fall in house prices is slowing and it is understandable that those people who have access to finance want to take advantage of that and reap the rewards when the market begins to bounce back,' he added.