Sales prices are being slashed across the south-east of England as home sellers struggle to find a buyer.
Eight of the 10 places in the UK that have seen price reductions of 5 per cent or more are in the South East, according to data shared exclusively with This is Money by property website Zoopla.
Thanet in Kent, which includes the town of Margate, has seen more than one in five of its current property listings reduce asking prices by 5 per cent or more in the last 90 days.
Dover, Brighton and Hove and Surrey Heath have also seen almost one in five available listings reduce their price by at least 5 per cent in the last 90 days.
Cuts in the South East: Eight of the top 10 UK areas that have seen the highest proportion of price reductions of 5 per cent or more in the last 90 days are in the South East.
Overall, 11.8 per cent of homes across the UK have seen their prices reduced by 5 per cent or more in the last 90 days, according to Zoopla.
In the previous five years, the share of homes that had their price reduced during the same 90-day period was just 6.9 percent.
Rightmove has also reported that more than a third of homes for sale have had their asking prices reduced, the highest since January 2011.
It said the average house for sale has seen a price reduction of 6.2 per cent, or a cut of £22,700.
Zoopla says many more home sellers are reducing their asking prices by 5 percent or less, and some are worried that bigger cuts could affect what they can buy next.
However, more severe price reductions of 5 percent or more seem to indicate that a growing number of sellers, particularly in the Southeast, are increasingly desperate to attract buyer interest.
Reduced: These are the areas in each UK region that have seen the biggest house price cuts
Izabella Lubowiecka, real estate researcher at Zoopla, says: ‘Asking for price reductions shows greater realism on the part of sellers regarding prices.
‘Many sellers see that pandemic property value gains provide them with a cushion they can use to unlock sales.
‘Serious sellers who want to sell soon should have an honest conversation with an agent to ensure the property they are selling is priced appropriately for the current market.
‘Sales price adjustments are occurring across the board. As a downsizing or upsizing, this means that the appreciation will affect not only the property you are selling but quite possibly the one you wish to buy next.’
Is the real estate market ripe for bargain hunting?
Whether or not the market is ripe for bargain hunting will clearly depend on what happens to house prices.
It will vary from market to market, but there may be greater opportunities to haggle and negotiate below the asking price.
Charlie Lamdin, founder of BestAgent, says buyers should offer prices outside their budget.
Charlie Lamdin, founder of real estate company BestAgent, argues that anyone looking to buy right now should aim high and offer low.
“In a down market, you should look for homes whose asking prices are outside your budget,” Lamdin says.
‘Agents are calmer now and more willing to show you houses that they were too busy to show you a year ago.
‘Motivated sellers seek sales certainty above the maximum price. “This creates a huge opportunity for well-prepared buyers, especially if they don’t have chains.”
Chris Sykes, associate director at mortgage broker Private Finance, says he has noticed more offers being accepted for high-value properties at significant discounts.
It says: ‘In recent weeks, we have seen signs of a resurgence in demand for high value properties from high net worth individuals and those with substantial incomes.
“These properties, for which offers have recently been accepted, have typically been on the market for some time and are now selling at approximately a 10 per cent discount to their asking price.”
However, Henry Pryor, a professional buyer’s agent, says buyers should be careful not to take the sales price too literally.
Henry Pryor, a professional buyer’s agent and property expert, says asking prices are not necessarily an indication of value.
In his view, a sales price is not necessarily an indication of value, nor a statement of what the seller might accept.
It’s also not necessarily what the real estate agent recommended or what a mortgage appraiser might approve.
Pryor says, “It’s surprising how many people confuse sales price with value.”
‘It’s just part of marketing, but many judge the success of a sale or purchase based on the price of the ticket.
‘It’s a combination of the owner’s greed and the agent’s ‘enthusiasm’ to get the business.
‘The biggest discount off the asking price we’ve achieved so far this year is 11 per cent, but one of our best deals resulted in us paying 10 per cent more.
“Remember, the sales price is not a statement of value or an indication of what the seller will accept.”
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.