More confirmation that the housing market has improved over recent months can be found in the latest figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). House prices rose by 0.3% in September, bringing them to a figure 3% higher than this time last year, which is leading property economists to conclude that market adjustment is largely over.

However, experts warn that further house price falls are still possible. The regional market is still patchy with price falls noted in four out of the 12 regions. House price inflation was marginally negative in the South West but returned to positive territory in South East after the decline in August.

The November Rightmove House Price Index painted a more positive picture. September witnessed the highest completed transaction volumes since 1988, according to the property website, with the market reaching a level of sustainable pricing.

The property specialists attribute this to an unusual turnaround in the market from last year, when sales plummeted to their lowest since 1996, forcing sellers and buyers to embrace a painful realism: ?This is not a boom market, but the arrival of the long awaited ?soft landing? said Mike Shipside, Rightmove?s Commercial Director. ?The property market?s key foundation has returned: confidence is back, leaving pessimists in the cold.?

Peter Edwards from Knight Frank Country House Department commented: ?Confidence does seem to be on the up but it is the responsibility of valuers to price houses realistically using up to date and relevant comparables to see this trend through into the new year?.