Britons with ties to the residential property market have good reason to optimistic about the coming 12 months.

That is according to Nick Barnes, head of research at Chesterton Humberts, who has speculated that the property market will expand in 2013.

Following a troublesome last year, there are a number of factors that could lead to an upturn in the fortunes of the UK market.

"After what was a tough year in 2012 with the extreme weather, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and a stagnating economy, I am cautiously optimistic about the prospects for the prime London market in 2013," he commented.

"A number of key indicators are looking very positive and the success of Circus West has provided further proof of the high level of demand for prime residential property in London."

Last month was, in fact, the best January for the past two years. What's more, a survey compiled by Hometrack, the property analysts, found that 79 per cent of estate agents are more upbeat about the market than in 2012.

Mr Barnes observed that mortgages is one of the areas that has seen the biggest improvement in recent times.

Indeed, he pointed out that lenders have reduced their rates and also chosen to increase lending.

"This," Mr Barnes added, "should go some way towards restoring customer confidence and releasing the pent-up sales demand of the past few years."

Earlier this month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed a 19 per cent annual rise in buy-to-let lending in 2012.

According to the figures, the gross total of buy-to-let mortgages awarded to landlords in 2012 was £16.4 billion, which is up from the £13.8 billion seen in 2011.

Indeed, buy-to-let lending accounted for 11.5 per cent of total gross mortgage lending last year, up from 9.8 per cent. Such figures point to the increasing popularity of the lettings market in the UK.