Homes are selling for an average 3.86% less than the asking price, with sellers in Wales having the least realistic expectations.

The asking-to-selling-price gap has risen by 0.32% since last year, according to research from Zoopla, although Yorkshire and the Humber has seen the gap close by 0.54% over the past year to 4.34%.

Bristol was the town that came out top for having the most realistic expectations, with a 1.9% difference between sold price and asking price between August 2016 and September 2017 – although the gap was still 0.87% higher than the previous 12-month period. This was followed by Sheffield (2.07%), Coventry (2.09%) and Reading (2.42%).

The town with the biggest gap between asking and selling price was Bradford at 6.32%, although this was an improvement of 0.70% on the previous year. After this, Preston (6.24%), Swansea (5.87%) and Newcastle Upon Tyne (5.19%) had the biggest disparities.

When separated into broader regions, Wales overall had the biggest asking-to-selling-price gap, with homes selling for 5.87% less than they were advertised at.

The south-east of England as a region was selling closest to the asking price at an average 3.06% below.

Double-sided coin

Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla, said: “It’s unsurprising that properties in the south of the country are currently selling closest to their original asking price, as demand for homes in the capital and its surrounding commuter belt remains high.

“However, it’s interesting to note that these same areas are the ones that have seen sale values slip furthest from the asking price over the past year, which is perhaps reflective of a slight slowdown in market activity in and around London.”

Last month, it was revealed by Rightmove that more than a third of sellers had been forced to drop their asking prices in October – equivalent to £2,392.

But buying agent and market commentator Henry Pryor said he was not worried by the state of the housing market, and believes the fluctuations are an overdue correction that will be welcomed by some.

“The housing market is a double-sided coin,” he said. “On the one hand, there are rising house prices; but on the other side of the coin there is the buyer, for whom lower prices are a good thing. This national obsession with ever-rising house prices is not something I subscribe to.”

He also said on Twitter than his clients had actually paid as much as 11% less than asking price.