Housing figures give cause for optimism

Homeowners may be tempted to invest in a home improvement such as a conservatory to help make their property stand out from the crowd after a financial expert hinted the housing market may have reached its lowest point.

Recent figures from Nationwide show a 0.9 per cent increase in house prices during February after months of back-to-back falls.

Capital Economics economist Vicky Redwood explained the results may suggest the market has reached a bottom and prices could be set to bounce again.

However, she added a note of caution, saying a true reflection of a recovery will not be seen for a few months.

"It might also just be a demand thing – that households are feeling more confident about undertaking mortgages and that demand wasnt there before," she said.

While it may be too early to draw solid conclusions about the direction of the market, Bank of England figures recently showed the number of mortgage approvals rose by 19 per cent between January and February 2009.