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Property transaction collapses cost £880m in 2021

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Home buyers and sellers wasted £880.4m on fees and charges on property transactions which collapsed last year.

Property transaction collapses cost UK home buyers and sellers £880.4m in 2021, an increase of £74m on the previous year.

An estimated 326,091 transactions failed to make it over the line in 2021, according to property purchasing specialist HBB Solutions. This is an increase of 9.2% year-on-year, pushed up due to the property boom during the pandemic and the stamp duty holiday.

And with the average collapse costing £2,700, Brits forked out £880.4m as a result.

Common reasons for a property sale or purchase to fall through include broken chains, survey issues, conveyancing delays, gazumping and a breakdown in negotiations.

Managing director of HBB Solutions, Chris Hodgkinson, said: “One in every five property transactions will unfortunately fail to make it over the line and not only is this extremely frustrating for those involved, but it can see buyers and sellers incur a considerable cost, having already forked out for requirements such as surveys and conveyancing costs.

“Unfortunately, an uplift in the number of transactions collapsing is the downside to the pandemic property market boom but there has been one silver lining to such a heightened level of demand.

“We’ve seen those properties that have endured a collapse manage to secure a new buyer at a very fast pace and often for a higher price than they were originally due to sell for. While this doesn’t make the cost incurred any easier to stomach, it does mean that they can push on with their sale and minimise the delay in moving.”