A new high of seven in 10 Britons think house prices will rise in the coming months as confidence returns to the market.
While 70% of nearly 2,000 people surveyed in September expect to see prices increase over the next year, just one in 16 (6%) people think they will fall, marking the most positive house price sentiment in research regularly carried out by Halifax, which goes back to summer 2011.
The findings were made just before the launch of the new phase of the Government's Help to Buy scheme, which gives home buyers with deposits as low as 5% a helping hand to buy a new-build or an existing home.
Lenders including NatWest and Halifax started offering deals under the scheme in October and other major lenders have also confirmed their plans to come on board in the coming months.
The research found that while sentiment towards the housing market is improving, less than half (41%) of people surveyed think it will be a good time to sell a home in the next 12 months, compared with a much bigger proportion (57%) who think it will be a good time to buy.
This indicates that there could continue to be a shortage of properties coming on the market in the coming months in some areas, as demand from would-be buyers continues to surge, putting a further upward pressure on prices.
However, the balance of people who think it will be a good time to sell in the coming months rather than a bad time turned positive for the first time in the East and the South East, Halifax said.
A balance of 13% of people in the South East think it will be a good time to sell, marking the highest proportion in the survey, while those in Scotland, the North West and the East Midlands were the least positive about their prospects of selling in the next 12 months.
People in Wales were the most bullish about buying in the next year, with 70% believing it will be a good time to buy, while consumers in the East are the most cautious, with just 40% thinking it will be a good time to buy.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said the signs that consumer sentiment is improving could help to lift the number of house sales from their continued low levels by pre-financial crisis standards.
Here is the overall balance of the percentage of people who think it will be a good time to sell in the next 12 months, minus those who believe it will be a bad time, according to Halifax. A negative reading means that overall, people think it will be a bad time to sell:
:: South West, 6%
South East, 13%
North East, 4%
West Midlands, 2%
Wales, minus 11%
North West, minus 31%
Yorkshire and Humber, minus 15%
East Midlands, minus 19%
Scotland, minus 38%