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Rightmove says confidence is growing in market

Property website Rightmove claims its research shows that househunters are returning to the market.

Rightmove says the last few weeks have seen the highest level of activity since the middle of last year, with traffic on its website up by 10 per cent to 52.5 million at the start of April from 47.5 million in January.

However, the website&#39s price index for April shows that annual house price inflation year on year has declined for the fourth month in a row to 17.8 per cent in April from 22.5 per cent in March, despite house prices rising by 0.5 per cent during April compared with March.

The London region saw a modest price increase of 0.5 per cent. The biggest increases in prices were in Wales, up by 3.3 per cent, and the South-west, up by 1.3 per cent.

The results are based on asking prices at Rightmove&#39s 3,400 estate agencies. The figures show that over the last three months there was a stagnation of prices and activity as buyers delayed purchasing. At the same time, there was an increase in the total number of properties on the market.

Following an uneventful Budget and with the war in Iraq drawing to a close, Rightmove is predicting a recovery of confidence in the market.

Commerical director Miles Shipside says: “There is a clear pick-up in interest among prospective buyers and deals are being struck if prices are reasonable. With larger numbers of properties on the market and sellers increasingly willing to price realistically, it is a very good market for the buyer. Prices are hardly moving and, while it is a far cry from last year&#39s boom, it is looking less and less likely that house prices will slide this year.”

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