NEARLY half of homes sold in Southsea are sold for less than the original asking price, a new survey has found.
Property experts Zoopla found the average discount on properties in the area is 5.3 per cent - or about £13,500.
According to estate agents in Southsea, the reduced prices are often down to the intense competition from marketers to secure properties.
Zoopla analysed 138 towns and 33 London boroughs for the survey, with Southsea ranked third in the country for the percentage of reduced price properties.
Chris Bull, director at Lawson Rose, said there had been a recent shortage in properties available and that prices had stayed fairly constant over the last few months,
He said: ‘A lot of asking prices are way over the top.
‘There are some estate agents who will give a high price to secure the sale, but you watch for a couple of months and the cost goes down.
‘You can see a lot of people looking at the market at the moment.’
Chris McKenzie, branch manager at Pearsons in Marmion Road, said he was ‘surprised’ at the survey’s results but agreed that some agents do boost asking prices if there is a high level of interest.
He said: ‘Generally early this year there was a market boom, with buyers often achieving over the market price for a lot of properties.
‘That has slowed up a little bit as the summer is usually quieter.
‘Sometimes estate agents might value a house at up to 15 per cent more than its actual value. That gives the impression that it is being reduced.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a contributing factor to the survey.’
Mr McKenzie also said the figures were ‘encouraging’ for first-time buyers.
He added: ‘Do not be put off from putting in a bid for a house, especially if you are new to the market. The price might be there to be negotiated.’
Kingston-upon-Thames had the highest percentage of reduced price properties with 48.14 per cent, followed by Surbiton with 47.25 per cent and Southsea with 46.33 per cent.
Zoopla spokesman Lawrence Hall said: ‘There has been an increase in the number of reduced properties on the market since earlier this year, which is good news for first-time buyers trying to get on the property ladder.’