A property market expert has predicted that house prices will start to improve from the second half of 2009.

Michael O'Flynn, content editor of Findaproperty.com, said the rate of fall in property values will start to eases, before "modest improvement"takes place in the latter part of the year.

This could be good news for buy-to-let mortgage holders, who could see the capital value of their portfolios begin to increase.

It comes after a study of the private rented market by Paragon Mortgages has shown that private landlords' portfolios now feature an average of 13.2 properties, up from 12.1 at the start of the third quarter in 2008.

Mr O'Flynn's comments also indicated that more Britons might be set to switch to renting after struggling to get on to the property ladder.

"Reports of a rise in buyer enquiries are encouraging, although it has to be said that mortgage approvals for house purchases are still very low, so that interest isn't converting into sales,"he said.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19009087-ADNFCR

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