I will probably be ruffle a few feathers here - I don't think rateable values mean a great deal, they are back dated to April 05 and the poundage rate is the thing that moves when the council are rating a property so in effect the rateable value is 3 years old. Saying that properties have experienced a massive rise in prices and now are falling, some people I have spoken think property prices need to fall to 2006 prices before they start to sell - although there is no way of knowing this and it could be back to 2005 prices before the market returns to a more stable situation.
I think the agent is being a little bit cheeky suggesting that the property is a 'steal' you need to do some homework on this.
1) View the property, to find out the following;
A) Is the owner selling the property or was it left to someone (the interior looks a little bit dated) - if it was left to someone, they can afford to come down in price as they are not buying another property - its really money in the bank for them if they get a sale.
What would it cost to bring the property up to a more modern standard? I would take this amount of any offer you are considering- or as much as you think you can without being too cheeky.
2) Find out how long have the other properties been on the market - are they due to come down in price the next time the agent goes thro their books on a price correction exercise? Which would mean the property your are interested in would not be a 'steal' anymore.
3) Are there any offers on the house or the other properties in the area - if it was a 'steal' it should be snapped up fairly quickly - and I have heard that the odd investor is coming back - only if they can get bargains or make figures stack up from a buy to let point of view.
As to what I would put on it - I don't really know the area so I would be reluctant to advise but if you have checked out all the above and found out that there are no offers on the property you are interested in or any others that are more modern that need less money spent on them - then it would not be the full asking price.
If you love the house/area etc......and intend to live in it for the foreseeable future, bust your balls and offer them the asking price to secure it - in the same breath ANYBODY who takes advise from a complete stranger on purchasing a house must be insane.
Do your homework and if you are happy to make an offer - be it low or high I wish you luck.
Would I buy at the moment - Yes, but at the right price.