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£18,000 typically ‘shaved off’ asking prices to achieve house sales – Zoopla

House sellers are accepting discounts of £18,000 on average in order to agree a deal with buyers, according to a property website.

Zoopla, which released the figures, said they are further evidence of a strong buyers’ market, as higher mortgage rates hit demand and more supply boosts buyers’ choice and negotiating power.

The typical 5.5% discount-to-asking price for achieved for UK property sales is at a five-year high, Zoopla said. It took the average across all sales, including ones where there would be no discount.

This is being keenly felt in southern England. The average discount-to-asking price for sales is 6.1% in London and the South East according to Zoopla – equating to £25,000 being shaved off the asking price.

This compares with average discounts of 4.8% or £11,000 for the rest of the UK.

Would-be buyers negotiating a sale will still have to deal with mortgage rates that are significantly higher than those that homeowners were used to when interest rates were lower.

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.”

Sales are holding up across many parts of Scotland and have also picked up across inner London, where market activity has under-performed the rest of the UK over recent years, the report said.

It added that the UK housing market is on track for one million sales completions in 2023 “but the pipeline of deals as we approach the end of the year is the lowest for four years”.