Home sellers 'forced to discount'

House for saleHomeowners have been forced to cut asking prices by an average of £20,000 in an effort to sell their homes, a property website has said.

Sellers have typically knocked 7.5% or £19,580 off the original asking price of homes currently on the market, up from £18,475 or a 7% discount this time in 2011, Zoopla.co.uk has found.
The website said that 36.7% of properties up for sale have been reduced in price at least once since coming on the market.

The biggest reductions in percentage terms are being offered in Glasgow, where the typical price reduction is 9.2% or £12,566.
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Meanwhile, nearly half of homes for sale in Stockport in Cheshire have lopped money off the asking price, with typical discounts of £17,384 or just over 8%.

Sellers in Chelmsford, Essex, have made the smallest asking price reductions at 5.9% or £20,329.

Blackpool has the lowest proportion of asking price reductions at just over 27% of homes on the market, but sellers in the Lancashire town are offering some of the biggest discounts in percentage terms, shaving nearly 9% or £12,316 off the asking price.

The research used information from Zoopla's website and included only homes which are up for sale, not houses which have been sold.

Zoopla business development director Nicholas Leeming said the typical size of the discounts showed that "sellers have come to terms with the market realities".

He said: "Pricing correctly remains key when selling a home and whilst there is a shortage of sale stock currently, buyers are more discerning and more informed than ever before. Serious sellers must do their homework and follow the advice of their agent before settling on an asking price - otherwise they may well find their property on the market longer than they'd hoped."

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