Consumer confidence up

The largest single monthly rise in buyer belief was recorded in April, it has been reported.

According to the latest figures, the Nationwide Consumer Confidence Index rose by eight points to 50 last month.

It noted all sub-indices also recorded a rise, with the Expectations Index increasing by 13 points to 70.

This sort of rise has not been seen since May 2007 and – combined with the other findings – gives cause for optimism, according to Nationwide senior economist Martin Gahbauer.

"A number of the worlds largest banks also announced a return to profits and this may signal the start of a thaw in the money markets and an improvement in lending conditions," he explained.

However, Mr Gahbauer added the market may continue to contract for "some time", so it may be too early to say the increase in confidence will continue.

Those homeowners who do feel confident may decide to invest in a glazed canopy or kitchen extension to help them enjoy their home over the summer months.

In other news, head of mortgages Louise Cuming recently praised a reduction in lending rates from two financial institutions.