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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agency chief says sellers need to be more realistic with their asking prices

The head of one of the country's largest estate agency chains has urged sellers to be more realistic with the asking prices they're setting.

Paul Smith, chief executive of haart, says properties are in danger of being over-valued and that these homes will struggle to sell. 

Smith's firm says it has seen a 'dramatic fall' in new buyer demand, with registrations down by 46% between March and April. 

haart reports that it completed 14% more transactions last month when compared with the previous year and that its average sale price is now £234,069.

Smith has described the drop-off in demand from buyers as 'trouble in paradise' and says the situation has been compounded by investors pulling out of the market as a result of the stamp duty surcharge.

“We believe the nation has now neared the limit in terms of price rises," says Smith. 

"Our data is already showing a slowdown in both house price growth and transaction levels."

Earlier this week, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) released its latest UK Property Transactions Count, which also showed a drop off in activity in April.

According to the figures, there were 70,690 property transactions in the UK last month. 

The number of transactions dropped sharply from the previous month when over 170,000 were recorded.

The above-average figure recorded in March has been attributed to the rush of landlords and investors pushing through purchases before April 1. 

The number of transactions recorded in April also shows a slowdown in activity when compared with last April's figure of 86,970.

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