‘Realistic’ sellers cut house asking prices by £14,000

‘Realistic’ sellers cut house asking prices by £14,000

5 Apr    Finance News, News

People who are accepting discounts when selling their houses are selling properties with reductions of 4 per cent, or £14,000 on average.

Zoopla said that, despite demand for homes to buy being lower than it was a year ago, improved choice and realism among sellers were helping to drive sales.

The property portal tracks the first asking price and agreed selling price for many house sales. In its latest monthly house price index, it said the £14,000 discount was the median average, excluding homes that were sold with no price reduction.

Demand from househunters is 43 per cent lower than it was a year ago, but the volume of sales being agreed is only 16 per cent down on last year, according to Zoopla. Sellers had achieved sizeable price gains over the past three years, giving them more flexibility on agreed prices, it said.

Would-be buyers have more choice generally, with the average estate agent having 25 homes available, compared with 14 a year ago, Zoopla said.

Rapid rent increases, a strong labour market and falls in some mortgage rates are helping to support demand for house purchases, it said. However, properties are taking on average about 15 days longer to sell than a year ago. The average time to sell ranges from 28 days in Scotland to 44 days in London, Zoopla said. It said Scotland, Wales, northeast England and London had relatively strong levels of buyer demand.

Demand was weaker in regions where prices had jumped particularly strongly during the pandemic and where prices were higher than the national average, Zoopla said. These are markets where higher borrowing costs affect buying power, covering the southern half of England and the Midlands.

The report, which covered March, said: “Comparing sales in the last month to the same time last year, we find an increase in the share of sales in the cheapest 40 per cent of the market by price. We also see a drop in the share of sales in the higher-priced top 40 per cent of the market by price.

“This is clear evidence of continued demand from first-time buyers or second-steppers [former first-time buyers who are taking their second step on the property ladder]. It also signals more caution on the part of existing homeowners.”

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