A third of property buyers see deals collapse after having an offer accepted

Michael Lloyd

May 24, 2018

A third of all UK property buyers experience deals collapsing after having an offer accepted, accounting for over £10bn lost in fees since 2008, Market Financial Solutions has found.

Some 23% of UK adults – 11.91 million people – have had an offer accepted on a UK property in the past 10 years.

But of those, 31% (3.69 million) saw a deal fall through before completion, forcing them to start their property search again. The figure is almost double in London (61%) but far lower in Scotland (15%).

A breakdown within the chain (41%) was the most common reason for people losing out on a purchase after having an offer accepted. And 33% saw their deal fail because they encountered delays in getting their mortgage delivered by a bank.

Paresh Raja, chief executive of MFS, said: “The UK is renowned for its love of bricks and mortar – many people strive to own a home, while real estate has long been a popular asset among investors.

“However, amidst such strong demand for property, it is concerning to see so many deals falling through after the formal house-buying process has begun.

“Evidently, difficulties in accessing the finance they need to complete the deal is a major issue for buyers.

“Whether rejected by a lender or facing severe delays, buyers must ensure they are aware of all the options available to them – including the increasingly popular alternative finance markets – so they do not unnecessarily suffer the financial and emotional strains of seeing a property purchase collapse.”

A further 16% of buyers said that their property purchase fell through because, despite having a mortgage in principle, the lender later rescinded the agreement.

On average, property buyers lose £2,899 in fees on a failed purchase which means as much as £10.7bn has been lost in fees by unsuccessful property buyers since 2008.

Some 11% said they ultimately settled for a different property they liked less because after their earlier deal fell through.

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