Residential 

Third of UK property buyers see deals collapse

Third of UK property buyers see deals collapse

A third of all UK property buyers experience their deal collapsing, despite having an offer accepted, according to research.

It is estimated that property buyers lose an average of £2,899 in solicitor and surveyor fees as a result of a failed purchase.

This has meant that, since 2008, as much as £10.7 billion has been lost in fees by people who have started the legal house-buying process after having an offer has been accepted, only for the deal to later fall through.

The troubling findings were uncovered by Market Financial Solutions (MFS), which conducted research among more than 2,000 UK adults to unearth how common it is for property purchases to fall through, as well as the main reasons for deals going wrong.

It found 23 per cent of UK adults, which is 11.91 million people, have had an offer accepted on a UK property in the past 10 years.

But of those, 3.69 million saw a deal fall through before completion, forcing them to start their property search again.

This figure is almost double in London at 61 per cent but far less in Scotland, where the figure was around 15 per cent.

Paresh Raja, chief executive of London-based 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."

MFS's research also revealed the reasons why so many deals are collapsing.

A breakdown within the chain was experienced by 41 per cent - making it the most common reason.

A massive, 33 per cent saw their deal fail because they encountered delays in getting their mortgage delivered by a bank.

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buyers said that their property purchase fell through because, despite having a mortgage in principle, the lender later rescinded the agreement.

aamina.zafar@ft.com

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