An improving market? More house-sellers stick to the asking price

Revealed: the top and bottom areas for reductions across the country

Less than a third of current house sellers have knocked some cash off their asking price, in a further sign that confidence is returning to the market, a property website said today.

Some 31% of homes on the market have had the asking price cut, marking the lowest proportion recorded in two-and-a-half years and a sharp drop from 37% a year ago, Zoopla said.

The website suggested that sellers are becoming more likely to hold firm on their asking prices amid signs that the market is improving.

However, the findings also point to sellers in the North being more likely to chip away at their prices to achieve a sale than those in southern regions.

Wigan, Barnsley, Rotherham, Preston and Doncaster were named as the towns and cities with the highest proportion of price-reduced properties, with around 40% of homes on the market in these areas having undergone such cuts.

Of those homes that have had their price reduced, the average discount on the original asking price across the country is 6.9% or £21,000.

Romford in Essex has the biggest price reductions in the UK, with sellers knocking 10.3% or £32,289 off the asking price, with the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool coming second.

Zoopla took the findings from its website, which covers 90% of the market. It has been regularly monitoring asking price reductions since the summer of 2010 and said the current national proportion of homes with discounts is the lowest it has seen.

London, where house prices have held up strongly compared with the rest of the UK due to strong demand from overseas buyers, has one of the lowest shares of discounted properties at 27%.

The English capital comes second only to Swansea in south Wales in terms of the lowest proportion of homes for sale which have had a price cut.

However, Swansea sellers who have made reductions are also offering some of the biggest discounts recorded in the study - at almost 10% or £18,649 on average.

Edinburgh was named as the city with the lowest asking price reductions, with typical discounts of less than 5%, and the proportion of the homes on the market with a price cut is also below the national average.

With its close links to London, there is evidence that the property market in Milton Keynes is holding up relatively well, with one of the lowest proportions of reduced-price properties recorded in the research and some of the smallest discounts.

Lawrence Hall, spokesman for Zoopla.co.uk, said the findings indicate "growing confidence in the market".

He added: "There is still a big regional divide with sellers in the North having to discount more often and by a greater amount."

The findings come as the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said today that it expects the market to pick up in the coming months, despite a lending dip in January.

Recent Government efforts to kick-start the market have caused wider mortgage availability. Financial information website Moneyfacts also said today that a recent mortgage price war among lenders has pushed average fixed-rate mortgage rates to their lowest levels in 24 years.

Sylvia Waycot, editor at Moneyfacts.co.uk, said there are some "amazing" mortgage deals to be had, provided that borrowers have enough equity in their home or a deposit and can meet lenders' criteria.

Here are the areas with the highest proportions of asking price reductions, with the percentage of homes on the market which are reduced and the average price reduction in percentage and monetary terms:

1. Wigan, 42.6%, 6.7%, £10,827

2. Barnsley, 41.2%, 8.9%, £13,156

3. Rotherham, 40.9%, 8.2%, £12,492

4. Preston, 39.1%, 8.3%, £16,794

5. Doncaster, 39.1%, 8.3%, £14,236

Here are the areas with the biggest asking price reductions, with the average size of the reduction in percentage and monetary terms followed by the percentage of homes on the market which are reduced:

1. Romford, 10.3%, £32,289, 35.5%

2. Blackpool, 9.9%, £14,143, 27.5%

3. Swansea, 9.8%, £18,649, 19.6%

4. Croydon, 9.1%, £23,864, 30.6%

5. Rochdale, 9.0%, £16,147, 33.4%

Here are the areas with the lowest proportions of asking price reductions, with the percentage of homes on the market which are reduced and the average price reduction in percentage and monetary terms:

1. Swansea, 19.6%, 9.8%, £18,649

2. London, 26.7%, 7.4%, £60,073

3. Blackpool, 27.5%, 9.9%, £14,143

4. Milton Keynes, 28.3%, 4.9%, £12,079

5. Bournemouth, 28.9%, 6.9%, £22,440

And here are the areas with the smallest asking price reductions, with the average size of the reduction in percentage and monetary terms followed by the percentage of homes on the market which are reduced:

1. Edinburgh, 4.9%, £13,050, 29.0%

2. Milton Keynes, 4.9%, £12,079, 28.3%

3. Bedford, 5.9%, £16,087, 31.1%

4. Lincoln, 6.0%, £11,434, 30.5%

5. Wolverhampton, 6.0%,£11,690, 30.0%

PA

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution