Third of UK properties have seen prices drop since going on sale

A third of properties on the market in the UK currently for sale have been discounted, up from 27% in February and the highest since August 2012 the latest data shows.

The highest proportion of asking price reductions are to be found in Yorkshire and Lancashire in Preston, Barnsley, Wakefield, Rotherham, according to the latest research from property firm Zoopla.

London is among cities with the fewest price reductions but discounts have doubled since start of year and overall some £3.8 billion has been knocked off UK asking prices, equivalent to £24,429 per property
 
The average price reduction has also grown since the start of the year, with asking price reductions now at 6.7% on average off the initial asking price, equivalent to £24,429, up from 6.3% or £20,781 in February 2014.

Preston has the highest proportion of price reductions in the country at 44% of properties having had their asking price lowered since first coming to the market. This is closely followed by the Yorkshire towns of Barnsley, Wakefield and Rotherham all at 43%.

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 9.2% on average, equal to £55,606.

The research also shows that sellers in Edinburgh are the most confident of achieving their original asking prices, with only 22% of properties for sale having their prices reduced, the lowest proportion across the country.

This is followed by London where only 29% 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 15% 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. People are well attuned to a bargain at this time of year, so homebuyers may want to capitalise on the latest raft of reductions,’ said Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.

‘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,’ he added.