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Why a third of all property deals fall through

Written by: Christina Hoghton
From broken chains to mortgage pains, it's not always a smooth run when buying or selling a home.

A third of all UK property buyers experience deals collapse after having an offer accepted – with over £10bn lost in fees since 2008, according to research from Market Financial Solutions.

The bridging firm found that 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 the deal collapse before completion, forcing them to start their property search again.

Shockingly, the proportion of deals that fall through in London is almost double the national average at 61%.

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

Common problems

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

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said that their property purchase fell through because, despite having a mortgage in principle, the lender later rescinded the agreement.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “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.”

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