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Zoopla reports number of UK homes for sale at a six-year high, best buyers’ market for years

Zoopla, the online property portal, has reported UK houses are selling for as much as £25,000 under asking amid the “best” buyers’ market for years as November draws to a close.

The number of homes being put up for sale is at a six-year high, while sellers are accepting an average discount of £18,000 to their original asking price and even more in London, data from property site Zoopla shows.

Zoopla’s Richard Donnell said the property market was exhibiting the “best conditions for home buyers for some years. Sellers are more prepared to negotiate on price to agree a sale. There is a growing acceptance that what a home might have been worth a year ago is now largely academic given current market conditions. Sellers have plenty of room to negotiate with average house prices still £41,350 higher than the start of the pandemic.”

Sellers are now accepting an average 5.5% off their initial asking price in order to secure a sale in the first half of November, compared with 3.4% in the first six months of 2023, the figures suggested.

The discount-to-asking price is now at a five-year high with the biggest price reductions occurring in the south of England, standing at 6.1% in London and the South East, equating to a reduction of £25,000 off the asking price.

As the new year approaches, housing experts believe that now is one of the best times in years to buy, with more stock coming onto the market and buyers having considerable leverage in negotiations.

For expat property buyers in the UK, an improving market allied to a stable UK Base Rate at 5.25%, means expat mortgages are now available from 5.85% through online expat mortgage advisors. Five year fixed rate expat mortgages are often priced below the current variable rate expat mortgages, as the UK Base Rate is expected to fall, albeit gently, towards the end of next year.

Estate agents are reporting  that buyers now realise they have the upper hand in negotiations, especially if they are not part of a chain of transactions.

This “greater realism” on pricing from buyers is boosting the numbers of sales, Zoopla said, with sales volumes to the middle of November 15% higher than a year ago and 5% up compared to 2019.

It added that there was also significantly more stock coming onto market, with a third more homes for sale now compared to a year ago. The average estate agency

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