Homeowners biding time despite confidence in property price growth

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Most Britons believe property prices will increase in their area over the next six months but fewer homeowners are planning to buy or sell, according to a property website.

Just 18% of Britons plan to buy a property in the next six months, down by 7% since last October, and 17% plan to sell, down 6%, Zoopla found.

However 87% of homeowners, 4% more than in October, are confident of property price growth at an average of 7.8%, the latest Housing Market Sentiment survey shows.

Homeowners in the east of England are the most confident about their local property market, with 89% expecting to see an increase in values over the next six months, followed by 88% in the East Midlands.

Those in Wales and the North East are the least optimistic about property price growth, with 68% and 69% of homeowners respectively expecting a rise.

Just 29% believe it is now more difficult to get approval for a mortgage, down 3% from 12 months ago.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: "Despite a continued period of political uncertainty, it's encouraging to see a rise in confidence for property price growth.

"However, despite this, we can't ignore that there's been a rise in reluctance to buy and sell properties.

"With the upcoming General Election, it's perhaps no surprise that people may be holding out to make a purchase or sale decision until after June 8."

:: Zoopla surveyed 1,511 registered users between April 21.