THE gentle 'easing-off' of property prices is giving housebuyers new confidence to take their time choosing and strike hard bargains when they act, a new report reveals.

But the research also shows that despite five interest rate rises since last November, Brits are still looking to buy in the same quantities as they were six months ago.

This is according to Yorkshire Bank's latest quarterly Housebuyers Survey, which examines and monitors the attitudes of around 2,000 adults nationwide towards the British property market.

Yorkshire Bank's survey found that one in four housebuyers now think the market has 'eased off' sufficiently so they no longer feel the need to rush in and offer over the odds on the first thing that comes their way. With the perception they are facing less fierce competition, one in five buyers are now prepared to risk offering well under the asking price, by several thousand pounds, on a house that interests them. And 24% would now feel confident to take their time to make sure the property exactly meets their needs before making an offer.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank's Head of Personal Financial Services, said: "In recent months we've seen evidence of the housing market starting to slow.

"We have evidence this is changing the attitudes of housebuyers. Buyers now feel they can look around more to ensure their lengthy wish list for a dream home can be fulfilled. At the peak of the house price boom many buyers were offering well above the asking price after just one visit to a property, and there were even reports of people bidding for houses they'd only ever seen over the Internet. "However, just because buyers are now taking more time it doesn't suggest anything as strong as a crash is imminent. A gentle slowing appears to be much more likely. Our survey clearly shows the same number of buyers are out there as earlier this year."