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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Vast majority of homes selling below asking price claims NAEA

Only one property in every eight sold in the current market succeeds in achieving its asking price - while no fewer than 86 per cent sell for less.

The figures, from the National Association of Estate Agents, apply to March and show a marked worsening over the February proportion of 74 per cent selling below asking price.

The proportion in March is the highest since the association’s data records began in 2013.

Meanwhile there’s been a small drop in the number of house-hunters on estate agents’ books – from 309 registered per branch in February, to 308 last month.

But year-on-year, demand for housing is down by 22 per cent, as agents registered 397 house-hunters per branch in March 2017 and 417 in 2016.

This drop in buyers contrasts with a rise in the the number of properties available per branch - it’s increased from 35 in February, to 40 in March.

There was no consolation from first time buyers sales, despite the Chancellor’s move to exempt most of them from stamp duty; sales to FTBs by three percentage points to 26 per cent in March, down from 27 per cent in January and 29 per cent in February.

“Earlier this month, Zoopla research showed that on average, houses are being sold for almost £25,000 less than asking price, which our findings echo. A record number of properties sold for less than asking price in March, indicating that buyers have shifted into the power seat” says Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark.

“This is music to house-hunters’ ears – especially first-time buyers. Although sales to the group have fallen, the fact that the market is moving in the favour of buyers may trigger an upward swing in the number of sales agreed as they’re in a position to negotiate lower prices” he adds.

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