The property industry is the most upbeat sector in the UK, according to a high-profile business confidence index.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Grant Thornton Business Confidence Index for Q4 2013 shows a score of 44 for the property industry, compared with the national average of 31.7. This is up from 18.2 in Q3 and -0.2 in Q4 2012, when it was the second least-confident sector.

Grant Thornton head of property Clare Hartnell said: “Our conversations with clients across the country, but particularly in London and the South East, reflect these numbers and the increase in confidence in the sector.

“The Help to Buy scheme and continuing house price increases in the South East will have helped. Housebuilding rates now need to increase and businesses must ensure they can maintain the momentum and growth seen in recent months.”

Established in 2003, the survey asks 1,000 accountants working across a range of sectors for scores on how confident they are.

Overall the survey revealed a fifth consecutive quarter of rising confidence, ahead of a forecast 1.3% growth in UK GDP in Q4.