Gap between property asking and selling prices widens amid ‘weaker market’

The gap between the asking price of homes and the eventual selling price significantly widened last year as cautious buyers negotiate harder on price, according to new data.

The average difference between asking prices and selling prices for homes rose to 3.9% in the first three months of 2019, up from 3.3% in the same period last year, according to Zoopla’s latest Cities House Price Index.

The online property firm said that this is substantially higher in London, where the selling price was on average 5.7% below the original asking price.

Houses sold at lower prices due to “weaker market conditions” and “harder negotiations” from cautious buyers, according to Zoopla.

The pattern was not universal however, with Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow both reporting average selling prices above the original asking prices, as demand for housing stock continues to rise.

Typically, properties in Edinburgh sold for 6.3% more than their listing price, while homes in Glasgow shifted for 5.2% above asking price during the quarter.

Glasgow was also the city which reported the fastest house price growth during the period, with prices up 5.1% against the same period last year.

Overall house price growth has continued to slow, driven by a 0.5% slump in house prices in London.

The softening of growth has extended far beyond the South East, Zoopla said, with Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester all reporting a slowdown in price growth.

Average UK house prices rose by 2.2% to £218,700 in the period, as growth slowed down from 3.1% in the same period last year, according to the index.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “This latest index report reveals a continued moderation in the rate of UK city house price growth as the slowdown extends beyond south-eastern England.

“Sellers are having to accept slightly higher discounts to the asking price in order to achieve a sale.

“This is a natural response to weaker market conditions and buyers are starting to negotiate harder on price.”

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