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Record number of homes sell for less than asking price

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Written by: Paula John
30/04/2018
March was a buyers’ market, with 86% of properties changing hands for less than the original asking price sought by the vendors.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), that was a 12% increase on February, when 74% of sellers accepted less than the full asking price.

There were more properties available to buy in March than had been the case since October 2017, with an average of 40 homes on every agent’s books – up from 35 in February.

Mark Hayward, chief executive, NAEA Propertymark, said: “Earlier this month, Zoopla research showed that on average, houses are being sold for almost £25,000 less than asking price, which our findings echo. A record number of properties sold for less than asking price in March, indicating that buyers have shifted into the power seat. This is music to house-hunters’ ears – especially first-time buyers. Although sales to the group have fallen, the fact the market is moving in favour of buyers may trigger an upward swing in the number of sales agreed as they’re in a position to negotiate lower prices.

“However, this is a short-term triumph for buyers. Although demand has cooled off over the last few months and created these market conditions, it’s likely to increase again as those holding off on making purchases move to take advantage of these lower prices. Ultimately, this means the number of offers accepted below asking price will fall again and the market will swing back in the favour of homeowners. The only thing which will offer a long-term solution is more homes to balance the issue of supply and demand.”

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