Property owners in the UK have lowered asking prices to such an extent that discounts have reached their highest level in over a year, according to new research.
It is estimated that two out of five properties on the market today have had their price lowered at least once with the north seeing more reductions than the south, according to property website Zoopla.
The average price reduction by sellers is over £18,500, some 7.1% off the original price and even properties priced at over £1 million, where the market has been most resilient, have seen more asking price reductions. Of all £1 million plus properties on the market, 27% have had their price reduced at least once, up from 25% three months ago and significantly higher than the 22% one year ago.
Zoopla, which offers a unique feature allowing users to hunt for bargains by sorting properties for sale on its website by those that have been most reduced in price, found that the average price reduction is now £2,200 more than one year ago when the average discount from the original asking price was 6.1%.
And the north south divide continues to widen in the property market. Sellers in the north are being forced to reduce asking prices by much more than their counterparts in the south. Northern towns and cities dominate the list of places with the highest average price reductions.
Sellers in Bolton are suffering the most, having been forced to reduce the original asking price by 8.6% on average. In Glasgow and Newcastle upon Tyne it is 8.2%, while other major northern cities like Liverpool are also in the top ten.
Conversely, prices in the south east have remained more immune to reductions where properties in Chelmsford have the lowest average discount at 5.5% and the list also includes other prominent south east areas like London at 6.3% and Croydon at 5.6%.
London has the lowest proportion of price reduced homes in the UK at 32.4%, serving to emphasise its detachment from the rest of the market. Meanwhile, in Stockport, nearly half, 47.8% of all properties for sale have been reduced in price since coming onto the market, closely followed by Huddersfield at 46.3% and Chesterfield at 45.8%.
‘Vendors continue to have to lower prices due to weak buyer demand. Sluggish economic growth has hit buyer confidence and tight fisted lenders are currently making it impossible for swathes of would-be buyers to benefit from the price reductions. For those who can get mortgages, now is as good a time as there has been in over a year to bag a property bargain,’ said Nicholas Leeming, business development director of Zoopla.
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