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Sellers now discount an average £14K from asking price

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Those with homes to sell understand they need to accept lower offers in the current housing market

Sellers are now having to discount their home by an average of 4.5% to achieve a sale, said Zoopla.

That’s an average £14,100 discount per sale.

The property portal added that the ‘asking-to-achieved price gap’ has widened to its largest level for five years. However, it also pointed out that, for context, the average UK home grew in value by £42,000 over the pandemic.

This suggests sellers are forgoing, on average, 33% of their pandemic gains to make a sale.

House price inflation slowed to 5.3% in February, down from 8.6% last year, said Zoopla. It added that buyer demand and sales volumes are 20-50% lower than a year ago, but still slightly ahead of the pre-pandemic years (2017-2019).

Shift to buyers’ market

Zoopla noted that the current discounts to asking price are larger than in the pre-pandemic years and reflect the rapid transition from a hot sellers’ market – where most buyers had to pay the asking price – to a buyers’ market.

This is accompanied by nationwide repricing, according to the property portal, ‘as the market adjusts to the reduction in buying power thanks to higher mortgage rates impacting buyer affordability’.

It estimates that the average homebuyer has a fifth (20%) less buying power than they did a year ago, when mortgage rates were 2%.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “Greater realism on the part of sellers is supporting housing market activity in the face of higher borrowing costs. Many homeowners are sitting on sizable house price gains made over recent years and have more room to be flexible accepting offers below the asking price.

“Discounts to asking price have widened and while 4-5% discounts are manageable, if these were to widen further then this would point to a greater likelihood of larger house price falls. We believe the market remains on track for a soft landing in 2023 with modest price falls of up to 5% and one million housing sales.”