Home owners' confidence in house price growth 'has taken a dip'

Home owners' confidence that property prices will continue rising has dipped - although seven in 10 still expect values to be higher in six months' time - a survey has found.

Some 70% of home owners surveyed expect house prices in their area to increase over the next six months, according to property website Zoopla's housing market sentiment survey.

The proportion of home owners expecting to see prices rise has fallen compared with 87% who expected to see rising prices when a similar survey took place in April.

Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said: "Despite a dip in sentiment, the majority of home owners are confident in house price growth in their area, albeit at a slower rate than previously experienced.

"This period of uncertainty could be good news and an opportune moment for first-time buyers who are hoping to get a foot on the property ladder."

The research also shows that the anticipated rate of growth has declined, with home owners predicting value rises of 4.9% on average over the coming six months, compared with 7.8% when the question was asked in April.

Home owners in the East Midlands and Scotland were found to be the most optimistic about their local property market - 79% of people in both regions expect to see house price rises over the next six months.

London was identified as Britain's least confident region, with only 62% of home owners expecting rises.

The North East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber were the second and third least confident regions, with 65% and 67% expecting house price increases respectively.

The survey also found that obtaining a mortgage approval is now seen as more difficult than it was earlier this year.

Nearly a third (32%) of home owners believe it is now harder to get approval for a mortgage than it was six months ago - up from 29% in April, the survey of more than 1,700 home owners found.

On Thursday, official figures showed a total of 217,350 new homes were added to the stock in England last year, as Prime Minister Theresa May promised to take personal charge of the Government's response to the housing crisis.

The figure for 2016/17 was 27,700 up on the previous year and the highest since the financial crash of 2007/08.

Here are the percentages of home owners across Britain who expect house prices in their area to be higher in six months' time:

East Midlands, 79%
Scotland, 79%
South West England, 75%
West Midlands, 73%
East of England, 72%
North West England, 72%
Wales, 71%
South East England, 68%
Yorkshire and the Humber, 67%
North East England, 65%
London, 62%