Cheaper homes 'selling faster'

CHEAPER properties sell fastest, research by Black Horse Agencies, the Lloyds Abbey Life's estate agency chain, has proved. It shows that the average house is seen by nine prospective buyers, of whom two may make an offer, and that it takes on average 22 weeks on the market before a sale is agreed.

The average time to conclude a sale ranges from 14 weeks in East Anglia and 16 weeks in the South-east to 27 weeks in the North-east and 28 weeks in the North-west, where prices suffered least in the recession and where sellers still retain false hopes of what their homes are worth.

On average, homes are selling for 92 per cent of the asking price, but this ranges from a low of 88 per cent in the North-west to a high of 94 per cent in the South-east and East Anglia, the areas where properties are most realistically priced.

There is no advantage in overpricing properties, the research concludes. Those that sell within 10 weeks fetch about 94 per cent of the asking price, after 30 weeks they go for under 90 per cent of the asking price, while those that take a year to sell realise only about 87 per cent of the asking price.

With this in mind, estate agencies in the Royal Insurance property stable are launching a sales drive over the next three weekends.

They aim to persuade up to 55,000 property owners on their books to cut their asking prices by up to 10 per cent in an attempt to drum up some business before the autumn weather closes in and buyers start deciding to wait until 1996 before seriously looking to move.

Royal's 430 estate agencies, which operate under local names including Barnard Marcus, Bag- shaws Residential and William Brown, will back the initiative by opening for longer hours, stepping up local advertising, and offering special mortgage deals.

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