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UK housing market starts to slow as more sellers drop prices

According to data published by property portal Zoopla, the housing market is heating up in the UK, with an increasing number of sellers slashing their asking price and the average length of time a home is sold.

More than one in 20 homes for sale dropped their asking price last month, an average of 9%, Zoopla said, the highest discount in 18 months.

“We are seeing the beginnings of signals that things are calming down,” said Gráinne Gilmore, head of research for the portal.

Nationally, the company forecasts an average price increase of 3% this year, but in many parts of the country “it feels like we’re lifting the natural ceiling.” [for house prices]”, she speaks.

house price in the UK has grown by an average of 18% since May 2020, when the housing market was reopened after a period of coronavirus lockdown, according to official figures. In March, the average price of a property in the UK hit a record 278,000 pounds.

In Wales, where prices rose the fastest, the average price increased by 22% between May 2020 and March this year.

Now in Wales and south-west England, another area in high demand during the pandemic, the price drops are happening the fastest, according to Gilmore. “It’s not a coincidence,” she said.

The line chart shows the percentage of homes that have lost more than 5% of the price showing more and more homes are being discounted to promote sales

After two years of dizzying price increases, buyers are increasingly stressed and are now faced with cost of living crisisThis is weighing on disposable income and rising borrowing costs, with the Bank of England raising its benchmark interest rate four times in six months and expecting more.

Sellers are targeting rapid growth, with economic outlook increasingly bleak Expectations of a slowdown or even potentially lower house prices.

Despite seller discounts, Zoopla’s figures for the last month show that the average time it takes to secure a sale has increased. Special-demand three-bedroom homes are still the fastest-selling homes, taking an average of 18 days to sell, according to Zoopla, up from 16 days in March.

Apartments outside London and houses in the capital also take longer to sell. Zoopla says one reason is the seasonal nature of the market – spring tends to be a busy period. “However, the data also signals that demand pressures in the market are easing as economic hardships – rising inflation and cost of living – begin to have an impact on buyers,” it added. .

Apartments in London buck the trend. They were the worst performing properties during the pandemic, as buyers hunted for more space and were spooked by the boom. construction safety crisishave disproportionately affected apartments.

Zoopla says the average time to sell a two-bedroom apartment in the city dropped from March to April, from 32 days to 29.

Dominic Agace, chief executive of London-focused estate agent Winkworth, said: “The migration of people leaving the cities has slowed and possibly even reversed.

Two-fifths of the people who come to Winkworth’s Notting Hill offices to find rental properties are returnees to London, he said.

“People in a rush to find space are happier being near work,” he added.

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