House price reductions have hit a five-year high, but estate agents don't think they go far enough

 
Helen Cahill
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The online property website said price reductions were a sign of a tougher market for vendors (Source: Getty)

Vendors are cutting the prices of their houses to land a sale before the end of the year - but estate agents have warned that the current price reductions may not go far enough.

More than one in three (37 per cent) of properties on the Rightmove property portal are now advertised below their initial asking price.

Rightmove said this was the highest proportion of properties to be listed on sale during the autumn period for five years.

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This month, new sellers have dropped prices by 0.8 per cent, or £2,392. Lucy Pendleton, co-founder of estate agent James Pendleton, said sellers need to be dropping by at least five per cent if they are looking to drive interest in their property.

"By dropping the asking price in increments all you succeed in doing is making your property look stale and unwanted, with none of the surge in viewings that a keen discount can bring," Pendleton said.

"There are also far too many vendors in London who think a reduction of £10,000 is enough. This barely moves the needle when you turn it into a percentage."

Rightmove said that many of the sellers cutting their prices were being "too optimistic" and should make more dramatic reductions.

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Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said: "In the run-up to the festive season many sellers are trying to tempt distracted buyers to look at their property by dangling the bauble of more attractive pricing given the quieter time of year and more challenging market.

"Many sellers who have been on the market for a while are curbing their initial price optimism and are hoping that reducing their property price will result in buyers selecting it as this year's must have Christmas gift."

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