Residential property buyers and sellers in the UK have widely differing views on prices, according to research published today (Monday 06 August) by Rightmove.
Half of those planning to buy a property in the next 12 months believe that prices in their area are more than what could be considered fair and reasonable, the research found.
But only a third of people who are trying to sell a home currently hold the same view, and 56% of them said their biggest concern is receiving an offer they consider to be sensible.
Rightmove warns that this mis-match in views could lead to sales stalling further in a market which is already seen as difficult and patchy at a time when the economic outlook in the UK is weak.
‘Unless both parties are able to bridge the price gap, then a stand off situation ensues leading to lower numbers of successful sales,’ said Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove.
‘Naturally, sellers have an interest in standing their ground in order to achieve the best price but in the current housing market, where sellers outnumber successful buyers by around two to one, sellers need to lower the price or increase the perception of value to avoid being outflanked by their competition,’ he added.
Some 32% of people in Scotland thought prices are above what is fair, as did 43% of people in Wales. In England, people in the East Midlands were the least likely to think that prices are too high, with 38% holding this opinion.
People living in London, where prices have remained relatively strong due to heavy overseas buyer interest were the most likely to believe prices are higher than what is fair, with 65% of people saying this. They were closely followed by people in the South East, where 56% of people hold this opinion.
Those living in Northern Ireland, where house prices have declined sharply were the least likely to believe they are unreasonable, with just a fifth of people agreeing this.
Despite the differing opinions, those surveyed tended to believe that house prices will not drop as a result. Seven out of 10 people out of nearly 40,000 home movers in the survey said they expect house prices to be the same or higher in a year’s time while only 24% thought prices will be lower.
A fifth of those who thought prices are set to rise said that this will be driven by over pricing by estate agents and sellers.