Revealed: Brits are a nation of property hagglers

New research from Which? Mortgage Advisers reveals that when it comes to buying a property, the majority of homebuyers were prepared to haggle and usually saved money as a result.

The research for Which? Mortgage Advisers asked people who had bought a property in the past five years what their initial offer was, whether they negotiated and what they eventually paid.

Our survey found that three quarters (73%) of homebuyers initially offered below the asking price for their property, and as many as two thirds (66%) were successful in securing their property for less than the advertised price.

Homebuyers in Wales and the Midlands were the happiest to negotiate, with eight in ten of them (79% and 78% respectively) initially offering less than the asking price. In comparison, only six in ten (60%) homebuyers in London initially offered less.

Homebuyers in Wales, Birmingham and Manchester had the most success when negotiating, with three quarters (74%) of homebuyers in Wales and seven in ten (69%) homebuyers in Birmingham and Manchester securing their homes for less than the advertised price.

Those that paid the asking price or more cited a number of reasons for doing so, but generally they were motivated by the stiff competition for properties. A quarter of homebuyers (25%) who paid the asking price or above told us this was due to competition for their dream home, and one in five (21%) told us they were involved in a bidding war.

David Blake from Which? Mortgage Advisers said:

“Don’t be afraid to haggle, even if you’ve already set your heart on a property, as unless you’re in a very competitive market, it will be expected. Having knowledge of the seller’s position and the local market is a good idea and can often help secure the property for less.

“Today’s property market has become incredibly fast paced and so for those requiring mortgages, seeking advice early will put you in a strong position to move quickly.”

For advice on making an offer on a house or flat, visit:


Notes to Editors

  1. Which? Mortgage Advisers is one of Which?’s new services. When an important market fails to deliver value to customers, we develop products and services that put customers’ needs first. Which? Mortgage Advisers provides truly independent, whole-of-market mortgage advice. You can find out more by visiting:
  2. In June 2015, Which? Mortgage Advisers commissioned ‘Research Now’ to survey 1,990 members of the general public who had either bought or sold a house in the previous five years. Respondents were asked what their initial offer was, whether they negotiated and what they eventually paid. Our findings are based on a nationally representative sample of the UK. Regional boosts in samples were used for additional regional analysis.

Table 1: Reason for paying the asking price or above the asking price.

Reason Net: Paid full price or above
To ensure a speedy sale 29%
Competition to secure the house meant we had to 25%
We were bidding against other people so wanted to secure purchase 21%
I was advised to offer on or above asking price 12%
New build – non negotiable 10%
Felt pressurised into offering on or above asking price 9%
Other reason 12%

Base: All homebuyers in last five years excluding those that answered don’t know. Paid full asking price (455). Paid above asking price (86).


Table 2: Regional breakdown of where initial and final offer were in relation to original asking price

Region % initial offer was less than the asking price % final amount paid was less than original asking price
England 74% 68%
Scotland 46% 35%
Wales 79% 74%
Northern Ireland 73% 64%
North 73% 70%
Midlands 78% 71%
South 71% 64%
London 60% 53%
Birmingham 75% 69%
Glasgow 42% 31%
Leeds 70% 67%
Manchester 71% 69%

Base: All homebuyers in the last five years excluding those that answered don’t know (where initial offered was placed/final amount paid). England (1668/1677), Scotland (314/320), Wales (170/171), N Ireland (63/64), North (581/582), Midlands (488/492), South (599/603), London (180/180), Birmingham (177/177), Glasgow (148/153), Leeds (120/122), Manchester (162/166).     

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