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A quarter of homes for sale see asking prices reduced

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Sellers are beginning to accept they may need to discount their home if they want to attract a buyer

Sellers are having to accept discounts to asking prices to achieve a sale, said Zoopla, a trend that has become more apparent in recent weeks.

The property portal found the average price achieved in recent weeks has been 3% below asking price, when for much of 2021 and the first half of 2022 it was 0%.

This discount is expected to widen further next year and Zoopla noted that, when discounts reach 5-6%, prices start to fall.

It added sellers who want to achieve a sale need to be ‘realistic on selling prices’.

One in 10 homes (11%) have recorded a price reduction of more than 5% and one in four (25%) have experienced a price reduction of any size since 1st September 2022.

Price reductions are greatest in Southern England, where sales volumes have fallen the most with almost one in three homes in the South East and East of England reducing asking prices to attract more demand.

House price growth slows

UK annual house price growth is down to 7.8%, said Zoopla, its slowest rate since November 2021.

Buyer demand has plummeted, down 44% year on year, with a decline of 28% seen in sales of homes.

The good news for buyers is that more homes are coming onto the market for sale, with the total stock of homes available up 40% compared to a year ago.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla said: “The housing market is adjusting to a reset in the level of mortgage rates but the likelihood of double digit house price falls at a UK level remains low.

“While the outlook for house prices is weak, we see a shift to more needs driven motivations to move in 2023 and beyond which will support sales volumes. Ongoing pandemic impacts, increased labour market flexibility plus more retirement will continue to encourage moves.

“Cost of living pressures will compound these trends encouraging home owners to consider their next move. The rapid growth in rents, which shows little signs of slowing, will add to cost of living pressures and add continued impetus to first time buyer demand.”

Jack Roberts, CEO of home moving platform SlothMove.com, added: “After months of seeming detached from economic realities, the housing market is finally delivering some cold hard truths.

“The question is: who will be most willing to accept them.

“Will it be the buyers having to acknowledge their mortgage rates are unlikely to dip below 5% anytime soon, or sellers needing to admit their current asking prices are overly optimistic?

“As both sides reassess the lay of the land, feeble demand is this market’s defining characteristic.

“Other than those who already have a firm mortgage offer, most house hunters will understandably be biding their time.

“It is a gloomy picture heading into Christmas.”