Buyers appear to be negotiating harder as the gap between average asking and achieved prices increased during the first quarter of this year. Both Zoopla and the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) say that discounts on asking prices are becoming more common. The NAEA Propertymark also says that the number of sales agreed per branch has hit a six-month high.
Zoopla analysis of housing markets in the UK’s largest 20 cities shows the gap between average asking prices to average achieved prices increased from 3.3% at the end of 2018 to 3.9% over the first three months of this year. Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “Sellers are having to accept slightly higher discounts to the asking price in order to achieve a sale.”
This comes as agents reported the number of sales agreed has increased for the first time this year. Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said: “Despite a fall in housing supply and demand, it’s encouraging to see an increase, for the first time this year, in the number of sales going through.”
“This means that even though buyers and sellers remain uncertain given the current climate, many are continuing to move forward with their transactions and sales are still happening at the rate we would expect to see at this time of year. More than four in five properties are selling for less than the original asking price, so there’s opportunity for house buyers and sellers to negotiate an offer to get a sale moving.”
We can certainly identify with this trend in Wilsons as we are pleased to find ourselves selling properties that have been ‘sticking’ on the market longer than we would have liked also quickly agreeing sales of property which are new to the market and sensibly priced. Neither sellers nor buyers are in the driving seat - successful sales are, by and large, being achieved by a healthy degree of give and take on both sides.