Figures from Savills suggest that there’s currently an average 1.14 price adjustments per sale across the prime regional markets of the UK while in London 1.42 adjustments are typical before a buyer comes forward.
The agency says that both figures are up from 2017 when the figure stood at 1.10 in the regions and 1.32 in the capital.
In a review of the first half of the year in prime markets, the agency says that buyer caution in the face of increased stamp duty, likely interest rate rises and political and economic uncertainty, makes correct pricing essential.
“Properties will sell when they are priced for current market conditions. Generating competition is key to achieving a successful sale, and around a third of Savills regional market sales receive offers from three or more bidding parties” says Frances Clacy, Savills research analyst.
“Sellers need to remain pragmatic and flexible on pricing, and we’ve seen a slight uptick in the number of sellers accepting price adjustments in order to achieve a sale.”
The firm says it expects a continuation of the current cautious market conditions over the next year to 18 months, until there is greater clarity over the Brexit deal and the pace of interest rate rises.
In general terms, the agency says those prime markets furthest from the capital have been the strongest performers, while those most closely linked to London have seen price falls.
The Midlands, north of England and Scotland have seen the strongest growth, at 2.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively, while the markets closest to London have been impacted by its weaker sentiment. Prime London values are down by an average of 4.0 per cent, followed by the suburbs at 3.2 per cent year on year.
But it warns that “prime town and city markets – the star performers over the past few years, fuelled by growing demand for high-quality urban living – have begun to see values soften.” The exception to this rule is Scotland, says Savills.
All markets remain price sensitive, but the £500,000 to £1m price range has performed most strongly, with London and its suburbs the only areas to see price falls over the past year.
The fragile nature of the market above £2 million has seen prices soften across the board, peaking at a 6.2 per cent drop in the suburbs, and 4.2 per cent down in what Savills describes as “outer prime London.”