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Sellers on average knock £25,265 off house prices, showing room for negotiation

Thursday 26 May 2016

Smart landlords looking to expand their portfolios may have reason to thank George Osborne for increasing stamp duty after all, as a lull in buying has contributed to a slowdown for sellers.

And according to Zoopla, house sellers are becoming more and more amenable to making big cuts to the original asking price in the hope of an early sale.

Over the last four months, the typical discount being offered to buyers has risen by nearly £4,000 to more than £25,000.

The new figures emerge as the Halifax price index revealed that prices in April were 9.3% higher than the same time last year, but had fallen by 0.8% compared to March 2016.

Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said: "Despite increasing house prices across the country, there's clearly still space for negotiation."

Almost one third of properties on Zoopla have had the asking price reduced at least once


Nearly one third of the properties listed on Zoopla’s website have had the asking price reduced at least once since the property was first listed.

The new trend seems to be partly motivated by a fall in interest from investors discouraged by the stamp duty increase which came into force on April 1.

The rush to buy property before the increase kicked in created a lot of uncertainty, but as the dust settles, it appears that massive savings can still be negotiated.

Canny investors should do the maths and work out if the discounts compensate for the higher surcharge on stamp duty.

On average, sellers are knocking off £25,265 from asking prices, and there are clearly big discounts to be found across the country – with 80% of areas containing properties with reduced asking prices, including the North of England.

Almost half of all properties listed in St Helens (43.7%), Hartlepool (42.5%) and Middlesbrough (40%) have been marked down substantially.

Haverfordwest in Wales and Great Yarmouth in East Anglia are also in the top ten.

Once again, it appears that George Osborne’s attacks on the BTL sector have had unintended consequences as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported a drop in new buyers during April – the first fall since March 2015.

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