Buyers securing £18,000 discount in current climate

Home buyers are securing an average of £18,000 off their next home in order to confirm a sale, Zoopla’s latest House Price Index has revealed.

This is the highest discount for five years, at 5.5% off the purchase price.

The trend is particularly prevalent in the South of England, as the average discount to the asking price for sales is 6.1% in London and the South East – equating to a total reduction of £25,000 off the asking price.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “These are the best conditions for home buyers for some years with more homes to choose from and with sellers more prepared to negotiate on price to agree a sale.

“There is a growing acceptance that what a home might have been worth a year ago is now largely academic given current market conditions. Sellers have plenty of room to negotiate with average house prices still £41,350 higher than the start of the pandemic.

“It’s a positive sign that new sales continue to be agreed at a faster rate than a year ago and pre-pandemic. This indicates that house prices do not need to post bigger falls to get people moving but sellers need to be ready for more negotiation on price. New sales will slow as we run up to Christmas and some sellers will take homes off the market ready to relaunch in the new year.”

Despite buyer demand remaining 13% lower than 2019, new sales are still being agreed with the total volume currently 15% higher than this time last year, and 5% up on 2019 levels.

This indicates greater realism on the part of sellers and a growing sense among would-be movers that mortgage rates may have peaked and could start to fall later in 2024.

However, the market remains on track for one million sales completions in 2023, with sales holding up across many parts of Scotland and inner London where market activity has underperformed the rest of the UK over recent years.