Homes in Hartlepool are marked down as discounts speed up sales

Homes in Hartlepool are being sold at a reduced rate, according to Zoopla.

Homes in Hartlepool are being sold at a reduced rate, according to Zoopla.

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Housing in Hartlepool is being marked down as sellers knock down prices and give buyers more chance to barter.

House-sellers are slashing bigger chunks off their original asking prices, potentially giving buyers more opportunities to negotiate a discount, a property website has found.

Research has put Hartlepool in second place for having the highest proportion of properties with a reduced asking price in the UK, with 42.5% of prices down from their original amount.

On average, in the town, 8.9% - £14,334 - is taken off the asking price, putting it in eighth place for the biggest reductions in asking prices.

Across Britain is now more than £25,000 - an increase of nearly £4,000 compared with the typical discount in January, Zoopla found.

The findings, taken from properties listed on Zoopla's website, also show that 29% of homes currently listed for sale have had the price cut at least once since the property was first listed.

On April 1, a stamp duty increase came into force for people buying second homes, such as buy-to-let investors. Some reports have suggested that house sales were brought forward which might otherwise have taken place later this year, as investors rushed to beat the stamp duty deadline.

With demand from investors dying back in April after the tax hike came into force, some sellers may have been encouraged to offer bigger discounts in the hope of agreeing a sale.

Zoopla said eight of the 10 areas with the highest proportion of properties with a reduced asking price are located in the North of England, with almost half of all properties listed in St Helens (43.7%), Hartlepool (42.5%) and Middlesbrough (40%) having been marked down. Also in the top 10 are Haverfordwest in Wales, and Great Yarmouth in East Anglia.

Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said: "The rise in the average discount to over £25,000 should be welcome news for aspiring home owners looking to get a foot onto the property ladder.

"Despite increasing house prices across the country, there's clearly still space for negotiation."

Here are the top 10 areas with highest proportions of asking price reductions in April, according to Zoopla, with the percentage of homes on the market that have been reduced:

1. St Helens, 43.7%

2. Hartlepool, 42.47%

3. Middlesbrough, 40.08%

4. Wigan, 39.8%

5. Wakefield, 39.46%

6. Great Yarmouth, 39.23%

7. Darlington, 38.92%

8. Preston, 38.15%

9. Haverfordwest, 38.1%

10. Halifax, 38.09%

And here are the top 10 areas with the biggest reductions in asking prices, with the average reduction in percentage and cash terms:

1. Barnet, 10.82%, £120,969

2. Coventry, 10.43%, £27,320

3. Salford, 10.39%, £16,634

4. Haverfordwest, 10.14%, £25,208

5. Blackpool, 9.59%, £15,202

6. Bishop Auckland, 9.58%, £14,391

7. Hull, 8.95%, £11,889

8. Hartlepool, 8.9%, £14,334

9. Oxford, 8.71%, £39,890

10. Romford, 8.49%, £36,529