Fewer home sellers forced to cut asking prices as property market strengthens

Research released today by property website Zoopla reveals that the number of properties available for sale that have been discounted and the amount of the discount offered from the original asking price have both fallen sharply over the past year. The proportion of properties on the market in the UK with an asking price that has been reduced at least once has fallen from 37% one year ago to 32% now. And the average discount to the original asking price has dropped from 7.6% last August to 6.3%.

All of the top 10 areas with the highest proportion of discounted properties are in the North as are nine of the top 10 areas with the biggest discounts on offer – 42.7% of properties currently for sale in Barnsley have had their asking price reduced at least once since being put on the market, with Rotherham (42.3%) and Wakefield (42.1%) close behind.

London continues to have the lowest proportion of discounted properties on the market with less than a quarter (22.8%) of properties for sale in the capital having seen their asking price reduced since being listed for sale. Edinburgh (27.7%) has the second lowest proportion of price-reduced properties on the market currently, followed by Wolverhampton (29%). Poole has the biggest average discount in the UK today, currently standing at 9.9%.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla said: “A fall in the proportion and level of asking price discounts suggests sellers are feeling more confident and happy to wait it out to achieve their target asking price. First-time buyers are finally getting a look-in due to improved mortgage availability which in turn is lifting the whole market. Banks, sellers and buyers are all more bullish about the state of the economy, which bodes well for the months ahead. And the Bank of England’s forward guidance on interest rates has generated a greater sense of certainty about the future, which should lead to even more activity.”