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The art of negotiation is becoming trickier

New research from property portal Zoopla has revealed that homebuyers are finding it more and more difficult to haggle on prices. Currently, a typical British property is reduced by only 6.05% from its original asking rice – the lowest level seen in five years.

However, despite the smaller discounts on offer, nearly a third of properties currently on the market have had their price slashed at least once since originally being listed, adding up to over £2bn of reductions in total.  

The north of England has the highest percentage of properties with lowered asking prices, with more than two-fifths of all properties listed in Rotherham (43.6%), Preston (43.2%) and Barnsley (42.3%) being reduced by sellers.

The top 10 areas for the largest reductions include Blackpool (9.8%), Manchester (8.3%) and Bradford (7.9%), while London (7.4%) is also a surprisingly decent bet for bargain-hunters. Discounts in the capital can surpass £75,000.  

Focusing on London specifically, the neighbouring boroughs of Merton (28.7%), Richmond-upon-Thames and Croydon (both 27.3%) have the highest amount of reduced properties for sale. However, those looking for the largest reductions are advised to head to Havering – a borough set to benefit from the imminent arrival or Crossrail – where the usual property price discount is 10.45%.

In the £1m-plus national market, more than a fifth of properties have been reduced since originally coming on to the market, at an average discount of more than £185,000. 

“Buyers may be disheartened by the decrease in the typical discounts on offer but can take cheer from the fact that almost a third of houses are listed today below their original asking price,” Lawrence Hall, Head of Communications at Zoopla, said.  

“This means that despite ever-increasing house prices, there is still room for some good, old-fashioned negotiating. On the flip side, vendors can be pretty confident of achieving close to their initial asking price.”

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