Property / The Going Rate: Cut your price and move fast

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The Independent Online
EARLSFIELD in south-west London is a favourite haunt of first-time buyers, so properties are selling quickly if owners grit their teeth and cut prices. 'People are being a lot more realistic lately, so we are seeing some quick deals,' says Darren Rowe of the agents Barnard Marcus.

Some are taking homes off the market until things get better - but that can be dangerous. A pounds 117,000 offer for a three-bedroom terrace house in Summerley Street was rejected last year when the asking price was pounds 120,000. It recently sold within two weeks for pounds 106,000 after being brought back on the market at less than pounds 110,000.

Other quick deals include a two-bedroom flat in Garratt Lane which sold in a fortnight for pounds 47,000 after dropping almost pounds 3,000, and a one-bedroom flat in the same street which took a week longer but fell less than pounds 1,000 to pounds 39,000. A three-bedroom terrace house in Lavenham Road took seven days to fall pounds 8,000 and sell at pounds 92,000, while a three-bedroom terrace house in Tranmere Road took four months to sell for just over pounds 124,000 compared with the asking price of almost pounds 130,000.

PRICES in Edgbaston, Birmingham, are as varied as the quality of English Test cricketers who have performed at its world-famous ground recently. Inner-city terrace houses worth pounds 40,000 rapidly change to pounds 400,000 mansions only a mile or so out towards Harborne Village.

All have been hit by the slump, however, with modern property falling as much as 35 per cent, says Adam Cole of the agents Hadleigh. One purpose-built two-bedroom flat dropped more than pounds 10,000 to pounds 57,000 over 11 weeks while a three-bedroom detached house on the edge of Harborne fell almost pounds 5,000 to pounds 72,000 in 18 weeks.

In the village itself, a three-storey terrace house took the same time to lose pounds 4,000 and sell for pounds 71,000 while a large three-bedroom detached house came down pounds 27,000 to pounds 152,500 after a week longer on the market. A three-bedroom detached house in Edgbaston, however, took 10 months and slipped pounds 70,000 to pounds 205,000, although it did have less than 50 years on the lease, says Mr Cole. A six-bedroom Victorian house came on for the same price and took the same time to sell, but dropped only pounds 30,000 to pounds 240,000.