Fergus Wilson Panorama documentary – now available on iPlayer22:10 PM, 18th March 2019
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Desperate sellers are ready to accept knock-down prices on homes for sale as financial problems and a lack of mortgages keep buyers away.
Both Britain’s biggest online property portals, Rightmove and Zoopla, report homeowners are discounting their asking prices.
Zoopla claims four out of 10 homes for sale have already had at least one price cut and owners are willing to accept an average £19,500 below the advertised selling price.
The firm reckons sellers have wiped £3 billion off home values in a bid to move – and says they are more realistic about the price a home will fetch and more desperate about selling before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Rightmove found asking prices dropped 3.1% in just a month as confidence drained away due to the Eurozone debt crisis and people seeing their spending power wilt as living costs keep rising.
“Markets dislike uncertainty, and so do people who are deciding whether or not to enter the property market,” said Miles Shipside of Rightmove.
“Agents report that many would-be sellers are postponing their marketing until the New Year, influenced by the current wall-to-wall media coverage of the Greeks and Italians attempting to get their own far-flung houses in order.”
Zoopla revealed sellers in Glasgow offer the biggest discounts – an average 9.1% (£12,881).
Newcastle and Bolton are close behind with average discounts of 8.9% and 8.8% respectively.
More than half the homes for sale in Sunderland have suffered a price cut.
Although London has fared better than the rest of the country in the housing market slump, 32.6% of properties for sale in the capital are discounted.
Nicholas Leeming, business development director of Zoopla.co.uk, said, “With the current economic uncertainty and difficulty buyers face in finding funding, it is no wonder that sellers are having to reduce prices in order to encourage sales.
“With the latest economic forecasts for 2012 looking decidedly gloomy, sellers may have to reduce their expectations further if they are serious about making a move.”
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