Property Sellers Trim Asking Prices To Secure Summer Sales

  • 37% of properties currently for sale have had asking prices reduced
  • Average asking price reduction now stands at just under £19,000
  • Biggest reductions currently on offer in Newcastle and Liverpool

The number of properties for sale across the UK that have been reduced in price at least once by their owners to try to secure a sale is at a nine-month high, according to property website Zoopla.co.uk.

37% of UK properties currently on the market have seen their asking price reduced at least once since first being listed for sale, up from 34% just three months ago. With the average price reduction from the original asking price now at just under £19,000 (7.6%) house hunters can look for property bargains by sorting search results on Zoopla.co.uk by those most reduced in price.

The biggest discounts can currently be found in Newcastle upon Tyne where sellers have knocked an average of 9.6% (£18,888) off their original asking prices and Liverpool where the average reduction is currently 9.1% (£13,643). Wakefieldtops the list of places with the highest proportion of price-reduced properties on the market today (51%), followed by Rotherham (45.6%) and Barnsley (44.7%).

Nigel Lewis of Zoopla.co.uk said, “Activity levels tend to fall over the summer months as holidays delay the buying process. With the recent bad weather and the extended Jubilee bank holiday, the rise in proportion of price reductions is a signal that sellers have been doing everything they can to try and tempt those buyers still in the market. Once the distractions of summer holidays and the Olympics are gone buyers will once again be able to focus attention on their property search and this should bolster confidence among sellers.”

Top 5 Areas with Biggest Asking Price Reductions

Rank

Area

Avg. Price Reduction (%)

Avg. Price Reduction (£)

% of Homes on Market Reduced

1

Newcastle upon Tyne

9.6%

£18,888

37.9%

2

Liverpool

9.1%

£13,643

39.6%

3

Stockport

8.9%

£17,813

44.1%

4

Rotherham

8.7%

£13,170

45.6%

5

Romford

8.6%

£25,033

42.5%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2012)

Top 5 Areas with Highest Proportion of Asking Price Reductions

Rank Area

% of Homes on Market Reduced

Avg. Price Reduction (%)

Avg. Price Reduction (£)

1

Wakefield

51.0%

8.6%

£15,763

2

Rotherham

45.6%

8.7%

£13,170

3

Barnsley

44.7%

7.9%

£10,844

4

Stockport

44.1%

8.9%

£17,813

5

Warrington

43.9%

7.8%

£14,267

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2012)

Top 5 Areas with Smallest Asking Price Reductions

Rank

Area

Avg. Price Reduction (%)

Avg. Price Reduction (£)

% of Homes on Market Reduced

1

Plymouth

5.8%

£10,761

38.4%

2

Reading

6.0%

£19,420

33.0%

3

Northampton

6.1%

£12,041

39.6%

4

Worthing

6.2%

£15,660

35.1%

5

Bristol

6.3%

£13,865

37.9%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2012)

Top 5 Areas with Lowest Proportion of Asking Price Reductions

Rank

Area

% of Homes on Market Reduced

Avg. Price Reduction (%)

Avg. Price Reduction (£)

1

London

29.0%

7.0%

£44,118

2

Chorley

29.8%

7.1%

£12,929

3

Lincoln

32.4%

6.7%

£11,073

4

Reading

33.0%

6.0%

£19,420

5

Hull

34.0%

7.6%

£8,943

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2012)

News headlines for 14th August 2012

Economics

Britain’s businesses are becoming increasingly frustrated at the government’s failure to address the recession and as a result, they are threatening to cut back on investment if policies keep being delayed or torn apart by infighting. Although the Confederation of British Industry has been supportive of the deficit reduction plan and schemes like Funding for Lending, they have not said that the government continues to test the patience of the nation as it continues to lack any real focus on the economy. The Cover of City A.M.

Greece’s economy is sinking even further into recession as data revealed yesterday that it has shrunk by an annual rate of 6.2% in the second quarter of this year. The troubled Eurozone member state’s economy is now 16% smaller than its peak in 2008, and is in fact now the same size as it was nearly a decade ago, in 2003. The Cover of City A.M

Investors in Facebook are still reeling from the social network’s disastrous stock market debut, bracing themselves for further losses as the ban on early backers selling their shares is set to be lifted later this week. The staggered process is said to begin on Thursday and peak in November, as 1.9bn shares – four times the current publicly traded number – will begin to be released from “lock-up”. P. 18 of The Guardian

Property

In a hope to help drag Britain out of recession, ministers are preparing to unveil a new package of measures next month in the hope of stimulating the flagging housebuilding sector. The plan has been drawn up by Oliver Letwin, the prime minister’s head of policy, along with Grant Shapps, housing minister, and Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury. It features a complex scheme under which the government would relax rules requiring private housebuilders to incorporate social housing in big projects. The Cover of the Financial Times

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors claimed yesterday that house prices in all of the regions of the UK outside London are being pushed down as a result of the weakest level of property sales in four years. P.22 of The Guardian

Personal Finance

Consumer group Which warned yesterday that banks’ customers could be badly ‘ripped off’ if the popular “free banking’ model of current accounts is scrapped. Providing accounts without charges means that banks have to raise fees and prices elsewhere in order to cross-subsidise the accounts. Sir David Walker, the chairman of Barclays, told The Sunday Telegraph that this set-up may even have led to mis=selling as banks sought greater profits on certain products. P.4 of City A.M

Recruitment

Due to fears over rising debt, up to 120 teenagers are competing for each job offered by Britain’s biggest companies as more school leavers opt to skip university and head straight for the job market. Figures show a large increase in the number of 17 and 18 year-olds applying directly to the workplace just as the cap on annual tuition fees almost triple to £9,000. P.10 of The Daily Telegraph

Olympics Fail to Bring London’s Property Market to A Standstill

While the distraction of the Olympics took its toll on speculative buyer demand, sales activity actually improved during the Olympic period, according to the latest figures from London estate agent Marsh & Parsons.

The impact of hosting the Olympics failed to derail London’s sales market, as determined buyers took advantage of quieter streets and roads to secure properties ahead of the traditionally busier month of September. Between the 27th of July and the 12th of August, the number of property sales agreed by Marsh & Parsons rose by 23% compared to the same period last year. The number of sales agreed was also 35% higher than during the same 17 day period in 2010. 

The improvement in sales agreed came despite a substantial reduction in the number of buyers registering. In the Olympic 17 days, there were 30% fewer buyers registering than in the same period a year ago. In turn, there was a 22% reduction in the number of viewings compared to last year, with many speculative buyers opting to avoid feared congestion in central London until the end of the Olympics, or distracted by the Games.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments:  “While many potential buyers were glued to their TVs and seats at venues rather than out viewing homes, London’s housing market didn’t grind to a halt by any means. The traffic chaos and logistical problems feared in the run up to the Games thankfully failed to materialise, and a corps of committed buyers moving with urgency actually took advantage of quieter streets to secure homes. In fact, with roads emptier than usual for this time of year, buyers actively looking to purchase homes ahead of the traditionally busier post-summer holiday period found getting to and from viewings a much smoother process.”

With the Olympics serving to provide incredible global publicity for London, showing the city in its best possible light, we expect it will have a significant long-term impact on its appeal as a place to live for both domestic and international buyers.”

Wriglesworth Vlog: Paper Summary for 14th August 2012

The key macro-economic, personal finance, property and recruitment stories from today’s papers, read by Wriglesworth Junior Account Executive Sinead Meckin.