The gap between average asking prices and the final selling price significantly widened towards the end of last year as buyers accepted bigger discounts, new figures show.
The current UK average for the gap between asking price to selling price is 3.9%, up from 3.3% in 2018, according to the April Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index.
Six cities registered average discounts above the current national average, including Aberdeen, Liverpool, Newcastle, London, Portsmouth and Oxford.
Discounts to asking price increase 2019
Source: Zoopla, May 2019
Only Glasgow and Edinburgh registered average sale prices as higher than average asking prices.
Typically, properties in Edinburgh sell for 6.3% more than their listing price, while stock in Glasgow shifts for 5.2% above asking price.
In London, which has led the slowdown in house prices, the average differential between asking price and selling price has increased from 4.8% in 2018 to 5.7% today.
Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, says: “Sellers are having to accept slightly higher discounts to the asking price in order to achieve a sale. This is a natural response to weaker market conditions and buyers are starting to negotiate harder on price.
“The increase between asking and selling price is off a low base. Correctly priced homes continue to sell within a reasonable period and setting the asking price at the right level remains a key decision to agree with your agent.”
House price growth softens
The level of house price growth across UK cities has continued to soften, driven by a slowdown London and the South East.
Overall, house prices increased by 2.2% over the 12 months to April, down from 3.1% last year.
This took the average UK house prices to £218,700.
This softening now extends beyond southern England with Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester all seeing a slowdown in price growth.
Average UK city house price growth
Source: Zoopla, May 2019
The deceleration in house prices is still most marked in southern England with Bristol, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Southampton all recording price inflation at or below 2.5%.
Mr Donnell adds: “Market conditions remain weak in London and the level of discounting continues to increase. We expect the price adjustment in London to continue although we do expect sales volumes to start to tick upwards.
“The slowdown in the rate of price growth is set to extend further across the south of England while we expect continued above average house price growth in regional cities where employment levels continues to grow, and affordability is attractive.”