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One in three Camden homes have had their asking prices slashed in July

PUBLISHED: 17:20 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:20 25 July 2017

A young couple studying property for sale in an estate agent's window in central London.

A young couple studying property for sale in an estate agent's window in central London.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

With the news that 35 per cent of Camden's homes have been discounted to sell, we find out how you can get your asking price right the first time

Getting the asking price right the first time is essential when selling your homeGetting the asking price right the first time is essential when selling your home

In Camden, 34.7 per cent of homes on the market have been discounted in order to sell in July so far, up from 31.6 per cent in February. In total, 884 of the total 2545 properties listed on Zoopla.com have slashed their original asking price according to research from HouseSimple.com.

More than a third of homes on the market in London overall (35.3 per cent) have been reduced in price since they were first put on the market, marking a 6 per cent rise in the number of homes discounted in order to sell in comparison with February (29.7 per cent).

In the City of Westminster borough, 1170 properties were reduced to sell, marking 33.9 per cent of all properties, up from 30.1 per cent in February, whilst in Haringey 38.6 per cent of homes have been discounted this month in comparison to 30.5 per cent at the start of the year. Islington, Hackney and Brent have also seen hikes in the number of homes selling below than the original asking price.

The data suggests that unreasonable pricing is dissuading buyers from making offers that match the asking price, and underline the benefits of pricing realistically in a market rocked by uncertainty in the wake of political turbulence.

Alex Gosling, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com commented: “These figures only support the view that the London property market has run out of steam. Agents are dropping prices to persuade cautious buyers to purchase in an economic climate where it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen next.

“What’s unusual about the level of discounted properties is that it would suggest there are too many sellers and not enough buyers. But strangely this market is still suffering from a lack of new supply. There are actually plenty of buyers looking, but they’re a different buyer from 12 months ago. They are more cautious and viewing multiple properties before making a decision. Long gone are the days when buyers were diving in to avoid missing out as the market accelerated away from them.”

Sellers still seem to be wedded to the hope of achieving mid-2016 level prices, and it could be that online property portals are in part to blame.

“Price is what you ask. Value is what you get,” said buying agent Henry Pryor.

“As a professional buyer I often have to remind my clients as often as I have to explain to estate agents that it’s the buyer who decides what a property is worth, it’s the seller’s prerogative to decide if it’s enough.

“The gap between average asking prices (as calculated by Rightmove each month) and average sale prices (recorded by the Office for National Statistics) has now reached 30 per cent or £95,000 and yet sellers seem reluctant to accept that this mis-match coupled with the fact that only 50 per cent of homes listed actually sells should mean that they reign in their expectations.”

Mr Pryor recommends sellers use professionals when estimating the cost of their home, rather than taking a DIY approach by comparing similar prices on online portals such as Rightmove.com or Zoopla.com.

“Sadly competing estate agents know that there are often just two things that matter when trying to win your business - how much you think the property might be worth and how little you will charge to achieve it. In reality you are better off paying a proper fee to a professional so that you avoid looking daft and dropping the price,” he said.

Rather than Googling to see what other houses on the same road are asking, the savvy seller should look at prices sold to calculate a suitable asking price. And beware; nothing is ever truly deleted on the internet, including the hubris of a too-high asking price.

“When evaluating a property I always look at the listing history,” confided Mr Pryor. “If the price has been reduced a couple of times I conclude that the seller was either greedy or gullible and will be more aggressive with my bid. A sensibly priced property generates competition and often achieves more.”

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