The house price gap between sellers and buyers narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to new data from lettings and sales agent Benham and Reeves.
The gap between buyer expectation and asking prices dropped 1% in Q4 to 35%, while there was also a 1% decrease between asking price and sold price, down to -23%.
However, in London, this gap remained consistent with a 33% increase between the price at which buyers were being approved for a mortgage and the asking price expectations of UK sellers, while there was a -22% drop between this asking price and the average sold price.
The agents quarterly House Price Index looks at where the average house price sits and how the gap between buyer and seller expectation and actual sales has changed.
Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, said: “It’s only natural that asking prices will remain at a higher level than the average mortgage approval or sold price, but it’s interesting to see that months of Brexit uncertainty had started to bring this difference in buyer and seller expectations closer together.
“As buyers committed to slightly more in the way of a mortgage approval price to take advantage of lower market values and lower interest rates, sellers realised they had to lower asking expectations to secure a deal in tough market conditions.”
He added: “However, with a huge spike in activity following December’s election, we will no doubt see asking prices start to lift once again, as UK sellers look to take advantage of returning buyer demand.
“While this asking price expectation will always be higher than the reality of the average sold price, an optimistic increase in a stronger market places sellers in a better position to negotiate a stronger sale price before accepting an offer.