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Property price reductions at lowest level for almost 3 years

In a further sign of strength in the housing market, research from property website Zoopla.co.uk reveals that the number of properties currently for sale that have been reduced in price since first coming onto the market has fallen to its lowest level in almost three years.

The proportion of properties for sale that have had their asking price dropped at least once now stands at 30.7%, down from 34.3% twelve months ago. This marks the third successive quarter where the proportion of reduced price properties has fallen and is the latest sign that confidence is returning to the housing market.

The amount by which asking prices are being discounted on average has also fallen to 6.1%, the lowest proportion since November 2010. But the north-south property divide remains with the top ten areas with both the highest proportion of discounted properties and the biggest asking price reductions all in the north.

Yorkshire has been particularly hit by property price reductions. Six of the ten areas with the biggest proportion of discounted properties are in Yorkshire, including the top three with 42% of properties in Rotherham, 41% in Doncaster and 40% in Wakefield having been reduced in price coming to the market. And Barnsley has the highest average discount in the country to the original asking price at 8.6% followed by Liverpool (8.5%) and Blackpool (8.3%),

London has the lowest proportion of price reductions in the UK with only 24% of properties currently for sale in the capital having had their asking price adjusted downwards. Edinburgh (25%) and Bournemouth (26%) complete the top three. And Edinburgh has the lowest average asking price discount in the UK currently standing at just 4.9% off the original asking price with Swindon (5.3%) and Bedford (5.4%) coming in second and third respectively.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk comments: “There is a generally positive sentiment in the property market at the moment that reflects a genuine belief that the worst of the economic crisis is behind us and that the housing market is at the early stages of a recovery. These figures show that fewer and fewer sellers are feeling the same level of pressure to reduce prices as over the past couple of years which bodes well for a recovery in house pricing.”

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