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Top deals going at lower end of housing market

Buyers at the lower end of the property market had a better chance of getting a good deal at the end of last year, research indicates.

The average selling prices for flats, terraced houses and semi-detached properties fell by between £4800 and £6400 in the final quarter of 2013, compared to the previous three months, the study found.

The latest quarterly house price report by property website s1homes also showed the average asking price for all property types fell in the final quarter of the year, with the most sizeable drop being for flats.

Ewan Stark, managing director of s1homes, said: "Sellers are pricing ­properties more competitively in order to secure sales and buyers at the lower end of the market are managing to purchase property for less than they were last quarter."

The house price report samples around 25,000 properties advertised on the website every month and analyses trends in the ­property markets throughout Scotland.

It claims to be the only report to focus on the so-called reality gap - the difference between sellers' price expectations and what they achieve.

Analysis of trends in ­October to December reveals that, despite the changes in asking and selling prices, there was little movement in the reality gap, which narrowed slightly to remain at just over 2%.

On average last quarter, properties sold for about £3000 less than their asking price.

Regionally, the biggest reality gap was in Ayrshire, where properties are on average selling for 18%, or £27,000, below their asking price.

Edinburgh is the only place where the average property sells for more than the asking price, with sellers achieving 1.3%, or £3000, more.

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