Almost a third of properties for sale in major towns and cities in the UK have been reduced in prices with most of them located in the north of the country where property markets have been slower to recover from the downturn.
Indeed, 17 of the top 20 locations for price cuts are in the North of England or Scotland, according to new research from online estate agents HouseSimple using an analysis of figures from property portal Zoopla.
Overall 31.3% of homes in the UK’s major towns and cities have seen a price reduction since they were first marketed while it is 30% in London which suggests sellers are having to reduce prices to secure a sale.
The firm looked at current listings on Zoopla for 100 major towns and cities across the UK, and the percentage of properties listed that had been reduced in price. In eight of these towns, more than 40% of properties currently for sale have had the initial asking price cut.
In Stockton on Tees in County Durham almost half the properties, 49.2%, being marketed have been dropped in price to secure a sale. While in Aberdeen it was 45.9%, in Halifax 44.9%, Middlesbrough 43.1% and Blackburn 41.1%.
The analysis reveals a clear North South divide, with 17 out of the top 20 locations in terms of price reductions in the North of England or Scotland. Some 11 of this top 20 list are either in the North West or North East of England.
Only one city in the south of England features in the top 20 list and that is Oxford with 36.8% of properties having been cut in price since they were first listed. While in London Richmond upon Thames has the highest number of price cuts at 36.6%, followed by Hammersmith and Fulham at 35.6% and Kensington and Chelsea at 35%.
‘Price reductions can indicate that there are too many sellers and not enough buyers, but actually there has been a lack of stock coming onto the market and plenty of buyers looking. That would suggest that sellers are in the driving seat and wouldn’t need to drop their asking price to secure an offer,’ said Alex Gosling, chief executive officer of HouseSimple.
But he also believes that economic uncertainty, particularly around Brexit, means that buyers are being more cautious about purchasing, spending more time viewing multiple properties before making a decision.
‘If sellers are committed to selling, then cutting the price is likely to attract more buyers, and particularly those buyers who have expressed an interest but are sitting on the fence. For anyone selling a property, there needs to be a lowest price they’re willing to take. Sometimes holding out for an offer that might be a few thousand pounds more, could result in the property sitting on the market for months,’ he added.