Property bargains are increasing daily as sellers cut their asking prices in an attempt to make wary buyers commit in a slow summer market – but the mortgage drought and a loss of confidence among buyers means that few are taking advantage.

Sellers are asking £5,403 less for their homes than a month ago, with the typical price of a house down, on average, by 2.3% at £229,816, according to a survey on Rightmove, the property search website.

In London, where the market has deteriorated sharply, asking prices have dropped by £21,096, or 5.3%, to an average £379,162 in a month. Prices are down 3.8 per cent in the capital over the past year, compared with 4.8% across the UK.

Despite such reductions, properties appear to be more difficult to sell, with Rightmove-registered agents reporting 78 unsold properties on their books, up from 77 last month. Miles Shipside, a director of Rightmove, said: 'Buyers are currently benefiting from the best choice in years.'

The Times, The Independent