Buyers in urban areas negotiated to ensure cheaper prices when purchasing new homes, causing an increase in asking price discounts in early 2019, according to property resource provider Zoopla’s recent Cities House Price Index.
In London, the average asking price discount grew from just one per cent in 2016 to as much as 5.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. Also, house price inflation in UK cities was estimated at 1.7 per cent annually in April, having accelerated from 1.1 per cent in the previous month, according to Zoopla.
Scottish homes sold at premium prices
In contrast to most UK cities, Scottish cities registered a premium on asking prices, according to Zoopla. Homes in Edinburgh were sold with a premium of more than six per cent, compared to the original asking price, while Glasgow properties went for sale at a premium of almost five per cent.
This echoes a report by Scottish housing site s1homes, which claimed that the average Scottish home was sold at a premium of at least £4,000 in the first quarter of 2019.
As well as having a premium on asking prices, Zoopla found that Scotland saw some of the fastest price inflation of all 20 cities surveyed. In Edinburgh, house prices grew four per cent in the 12 months to April. Glasgow topped the list for price growth in any UK city, with an average of 5.1 per cent in the same period.
Price slowdown increases discounts
Zoopla suggested that house price discounts in cities, such as London, were the result of an overall slowdown in the growth of house prices.
Prices fell in the capital by 0.5 per cent, making London the weakest performer of the 20 cities Zoopla surveyed. Discounts were particularly prevalent in Inner London, with properties sold at a discount of 7.6 per cent, according to Zoopla.
Greater enthusiasm to secure bargains among buyers was also noted by Zoopla as a possible reason for larger price discounts. The report added: “Now demand is weakening, buyers are negotiating harder on price and are less willing to keep pace with the pace of price inflation.”