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Housebuilders more optimistic than in January

Housebuilder optimism is growing once again as conditions in the market continue to tentatively improve.

The latest Housebuilder Watch report showed that a balance of just 10 per cent of national housebuilders were pessimistic in April – significantly down from 60 per cent in January.

Housebuilder Watch is comprised of the views of 100 private housing developers and 50 registered social landlords, including 15 of the top 20 UK housebuilders.

Good feeling among regional housebuilders is also improving, but not quite at the same rate as for national players.

While confidence is still in negative territory overall, the housebuilders have not been less pessimistic about the state of their market since January 2008.

Both national and regional housebuilders reported an increase in enquiries across all regions, except Wales.

Although half of housebuilders expect the level of new housing starts to remain unchanged over the next quarter, there are a small number who expect to see an increase in starts.

The report reveals further evidence of a changing focus for housebuilders, with a significant change in the mix of dwellings expected in the next three months including a sharp reduction in the number of multi-occupancy sites.

The report said there had been a slight fall in detached property construction, with the level of terraced housing having increased and semi-detached homes remaining unchanged.

* For anyone interested in buying the report, Construction News has it available on special offer at £250, down from £300. Email graham.ruddick@emap.com for more details.

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