Number of houses sold for less than asking price hit record high

Recent data has revealed that March saw the number of houses sold for less than the asking price reach a record high.

According to NAEA Propertymark, 86% of properties were sold for less than their asking price last month, the highest level since they started recording that data in 2013.

Month-on-month, this is an uplift of 12%, with February seeing 74% of properties going for an offer less than the initial asking price.

Where demand for property was concerned, the data revealed that March was down 22% on a yearly basis, whilst supply, in contrast, saw a slight uplift month-on-month – from an average of 35 per branch up to 40.

When looking at different groups of buyers, sales to first-time buyers actually saw a monthly decrease of 3% to 26% of the market, despite seeing a rise next month following the stamp duty cut.

Commenting on the figures was Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark, Mark Hayward. He said: “Earlier this month, Zoopla research showed that on average, houses are being sold for almost £25,000 less than asking price, which our findings echo. A record number of properties sold for less than asking price in March, indicating that buyers have shifted into the power seat. This is music to house-hunters’ ears – especially first-time buyers. Although sales to the group have fallen, the fact that the market is moving in the favour of buyers may trigger an upward swing in the number of sales agreed as they’re in a position to negotiate lower prices.

“However, this is a short-term triumph for buyers. Although demand has cooled off over the last few months and created these market conditions, it’s likely to increase again as those holding off on making purchases move to take advantage of these lower prices. Ultimately, this means the number of offers accepted below asking price will fall again and the market will swing back in the favour of homeowners. The only thing which will offer a long term solution is more homes to balance the issue of supply and demand.”

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