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House prices: Where are Britain's biggest bargains?



A third of homes on the market are now discounted with £3.8bn knocked off original asking prices

The figures mean that occupation of council houses by foreigners in England is now at its highest level since at least 2006/7
New research from Zoopla reveals the biggest discounts in the UK housing market this winter. Photo: Kevin Britland / Alamy

Discounting is rife in the UK housing market as dampened demand forced vendors to slash their asking prices in November.

More than a third of all properties currently on sale in Britain have had their asking price lowered at least once since coming to the market.

This figure is up from 27pc in early 2014 and the highest proportion of discounting since August 2012.

The average price reduction has also grown since the start of the year, with asking price reductions now at 6.7pc on average off the initial asking price (equivalent to £24,429), up from 6.3pc (£20,781) in February 2014.

A total of £3.8bn has been knocked off the original asking prices of properties currently on the market, the property portal Zoopla found.

However, the stamp duty reforms introduced by George Osborne at the beginning of December may give the market a boost, analysts at the website said.

Preston has the highest proportion of price reductions in the country, with over four in ten properties having had their asking price lowered since first coming to the market.

This is closely followed by the Yorkshire towns and cities of Barnsley, Wakefield and Rotherham.

However it is not just in the north of England where sellers are resetting their expectations.

The largest discounts currently are to be found in affluent Mitcham in south-west London where sellers have dropped prices by 9.2pc on average, equal to £55,606.

Sellers in Edinburgh are the most confident of achieving their original asking prices, with only 22pc of properties for sale having their prices reduced, the lowest proportion across the country.

This is followed by London where only 29pc of homes have seen their asking prices lowered from the original price. However, this is almost double the proportion recorded in February 2014 when only 15pc saw their asking prices reduced.

“The property market typically slows in December as buyers postpone their plans until the New Year and become pre-occupied with the festive season, but these figures suggest that sellers may be being forced to rest their expectations and become more realistic in order to secure a buyer," said Lawrence Hall, analyst at Zoopla.

“However, the recent Stamp Duty reforms have injected a real feel-good factor into the property market that is likely to last into January when there will be a renewed surge in buyers looking for property. There would usually be an air of uncertainty in the lead up to an election, but the positivity created by the tax overhaul should ensure this isn’t as keenly felt as usual.”

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