MORE signs that the UK property market has entered recovery mode.. Research from property website Zoopla reveals that the number of properties available for sale that have been discounted and the amount of the discount offered from the original asking price have both dropped rapidly over the past 12 months.
The proportion of properties on the market in the UK today with an asking price that has been reduced at least once has fallen from 37 per cent one year ago to 32 per cent today. And the average discount to the original asking price has come down from 7.6 per cent last August to only 6.3 per cent now.
The North-South property divide remains clearly evident in the Zoopla research, showing all of the top 10 areas with the highest proportion of discounted properties being in the North and nine of the top 10 areas with the biggest discounts on offer also being in the North.
In all 42.7 per cent of properties currently for sale in Barnsley have had their asking price reduced at least once since being put on the market, with Rotherham (42.3 per cent) and Wakefield (42.1 per cent) not far behind.
London continues to have the lowest proportion of discounted properties on the market with less than a quarter (22.8 per cent) of properties for sale in the capital today having seen their asking price reduced since being listed for sale. Edinburgh (27.7 per cent) has the second lowest proportion of price-reduced properties on the market currently, followed by Wolverhampton (29 per cent). Poole has the biggest average discount in the UK today, currently standing at 9.9 per cent.
This fall in the proportion and level of asking price discounts is a good signal to suggest that sellers are feeling more confident and happy to wait it out to achieve their target asking price.
First-time buyers are finally getting a look-in due to improved mortgage availability which in turn is lifting the whole market. Banks, sellers and buyers are all more bullish about the state of the economy, which bodes well for the months ahead. And the Bank of England's forward guidance on interest rates has generated a greater sense of certainty about the future, which should lead to even more activity.