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Fewer sellers reducing house prices as potential buyers flood the market




The proportion of house sellers who have reduced their asking price is at its lowest level in four years – with owners in Plymouth discounting the least.

In further signs of rising confidence, property website Zoopla reported that just over one quarter (27%) of UK properties have had their asking price chopped by sellers to attract a sale, falling from nearly one third (31%) three months ago. In 2011, that figure was 40%.

The average size of a seller’s discount is also edging downwards, from 6.45% being knocked off the original property price last November, to 6.25% off or £20,782 in cash terms now.

London, which continues to attract strong interest from overseas buyers, has the lowest proportion of discounted properties on the market across the UK.

Only one in six (15%) of homes for sale in the English capital have reductions on their original prices. Edinburgh has the second lowest proportion of discounted properties at just one in five (20%), followed by Coventry at just under one quarter (24%).

Buyers looking for a discount may want to consider heading for Yorkshire. Wakefield has the highest proportion of price-reduced properties in the country at 42%, followed by Barnsley at 38% and Rotherham at 37%.

The biggest discount can be found in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at 8.9% or £19,425 on average, and a higher-than-average proportion of homes on the market there are reduced, at 30%.

And despite London only having a low share of discounted properties, sellers in the city are offering the second biggest percentage discounts, at 8.3% – or nearly £89,000 in cash terms.

Sellers living in Bolton are also offering 8.3% off their property prices on average, although in cash terms this amounts to just under £15,000.

Homes being marketed in Warrington, Peterborough and Plymouth all have the smallest average asking price reductions at 6.0%.

Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said schemes such as the Government’s Help to Buy initiative had helped to unleash a new flood of potential buyers into the market which are helping sellers to feel confident about standing firm on their prices.

He said: “While this is good news for sellers, buyers need to see more stock come on to the market over the coming months, otherwise the recent trend of rising prices is likely to continue as spring takes hold and more buyers decide to search for a property and create further competition.”

In a list of the areas with the smallest asking price reductions, Plymouth came third, after Warrington and Peterborough. All three saw an average reduction of 6%, but for the Cheshire town and the Cambridgeshire city, this represented a greater figure, of £13,402 and £13,030 respectively. In Plymouth, 30.2% of properties are reducing their prices, with the average drop amounting to £12,710.

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