Asking prices slashed in run up to Christmas

For those properties that have been reduced in price, the average discount currently stands at 6.1% (£15,879) of the original asking price, according to the firm , which provides a feature on its website allowing users to hunt for bargains by sorting properties by how much the price has been reduced by.

Towns in the West and the Midlands are seeing the highest number of asking price reductions. Swindon tops the list where half (49.5%) of all properties currently on the market for sale have been discounted by the seller from the original price. Norwich is in second place with 46.8% of properties having been reduced in price, followed closely by Bournemouth at 45.9%.

However, it is in the North that dominates the list of places with the highest average asking price reductions. The largest discounts are currently to be found in Manchester where price reductions average 7.15%, followed by Newcastle (7.13%) and Milton Keynes (7.04%). At the other end of the scale, the lowest asking price movements are in the South, with average asking prices in Poole and Swindon both down only 5.1%, followed closely by London where the average home has only been reduced in price by 5.2% since coming onto the market.

At the top end of the market, for properties listed for sale at over £1 million, the percentage of properties that have been reduced in price has grown by more than 26% over the past 3 months, up from 22.5% in August, to 28.4% today. And the average discount in this price bracket now stands at 8%.

Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk, said, "For the past few months, asking prices have been somewhat out of kilter with what buyers are prepared or can afford to pay, but sellers are becoming increasingly realistic. The traditional New Year influx of properties coming to the market for sale will mean even more competition among sellers and many are keen to try to secure a buyer this side of Christmas and are lowering their expectations accordingly. As a result, now is a great time for buyers to try to land a bargain.”

Top 10 areas with highest number of price-reduced properties

Rank     Location            % with Price Reductions         Avg. Ask. Price Reduction (%)             Avg. Ask. Price Reduction (£)

1          Swindon            49.5%                                                   -5.14%                                                  -£10,299

2          Norwich             46.8%                                                   -5.92%                                                  -£12,478

3          Bournemouth     45.9%                                                   -5.74%                                                  -£14,306

4          Northampton      45.8%                                                   -5.68%                                                  -£11,242

5          Leicester           45.3%                                                   -5.93%                                                  -£10,178

6          Poole                44.4%                                                   -5.14%                                                  -£20,877

7          Birmingham       44.2%                                                   -6.65%                                                  -£10,533

8          Bristol               44.0%                                                   -6.77%                                                  -£15,035

9          Exeter               43.7%                                                   -5.60%                                                  -£15,983

10         Coventry            43.6%                                                   -5.87%                                                  -£13,088

Top 10 areas with highest average asking price discounts

Rank     Location            Avg. Ask Price Reduction (%)             Avg. Ask Price Reduction (£)          % with Price Reductions

1          Manchester       7.15%                                                   £11,923                                                 30.8%

2          Newcastle         7.13%                                                   £11,383                                                 31.5%

3          Milton Keynes   7.04%                                                   £14,119                                                 43.0%

4          Maidstone         7.03%                                                   £16,186                                                 39.7%

5          Rotherham        7.02%                                                   £10,121                                                 37.6%

6          Stockport          7.01%                                                   £14,971                                                 32.8%

7          Doncaster         6.92%                                                   £11,532                                                 41.4%

8          Warrington        6.90%                                                   £14,311                                                 42.3%

9          Huddersfield      6.86%                                                   £12,536                                                 27.8%

10         Hull                   6.86%                                                   £9,072                                                  27.8%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk

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