Sellers of £1 million-plus properties in Edinburgh are reducing their asking prices more than almost anywhere else in the UK in a bid to secure a sale, a new report has claimed.
The amount which Edinburgh sellers have been forced to shave off the asking prices of their “prime property” homes in the capital over the past 12 months is the largest in Scotland – and the second-biggest in Britain, according to the study by PrimeProperty.co.uk.
The asking price of a typical “prime property” in Edinburgh is being reduced by an average of 17.6 per cent from the original figure. And a discount to the asking price was applied to almost 17 per cent of £1m-plus homes in the city.
This is despite the proportion of discounted prime properties UK-wide having dropped to 18 per cent from 27 per cent over the past year.
The top end of the housing market has typically weathered the recession better than other sectors, experts have claimed. However, the majority of properties are still selling for below their home report valuations.
In Edinburgh last year, recent figures from Bank of Scotland showed a total of 50 £1m-plus homes were sold – more than a third of all prime property sold north of the Border. The number of £1m-plus homes sold in Scotland also rocketed by 14 per cent over the period.
“The prime property market is a law unto itself and one which has largely defied gravity in recent years, even during the recession,” said Lawrence Hall of PrimeLocation.com.
“However, even the wealthiest areas have seen deep discounts in the past few years. But the drop over the past 12 months in the number of prime properties with reduced asking prices has been a significant one, indicating that at the top end of the market, sellers [UK-wide] are generally feeling a lot more bullish now than they were this time last year.”
In Bath, where discounts on luxury property are at the highest level UK-wide, ahead only of Edinburgh, the price of the typical prime property has been reduced by 36.5 per cent.
The smallest discounts applied to luxury homes sold in five pricey districts around London – Walton on Thames, Guildford, Horsham, Sevenoaks and Richmond – where sellers had to shave only between 4.2 and 5 per cent from the asking prices.
“Homeowners in these areas are currently less inclined to reduce their asking prices to attract buyers,” said the report. “At the other end of the scale, prime homeowners in Bath and Edinburgh are less bullish and are reducing their expectations more than anywhere else in the UK currently.”
David Marshall, analyst at the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre, said the organisation had witnessed a large number of discounted properties over the past year. He added: “Although our figures would not suggest as high a reduction as that reported by PrimeProperty.co.uk, at the luxury end of the market the majority of the properties are still selling for less than the home report valuation.
“We do expect around three-quarters of all properties to go for less than the asking price.”