Mortgage problems halt one in three house sales

Mortgage woes can place home ownership frustratingly out of reach

Mortgage woes can place home ownership frustratingly out of reach - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than a third of house sales fall through because of problems in securing a mortgage, new research has revealed.

The study of 1,009 adults by Nottingham Building Society found that 34 per cent of people who have tried to buy or sell in the past five years have had their deal collapse because of mortgage issues.

While failing to secure finance was the biggest reason for things failing to progress, a buyer dropping out came a close second, with 32 per cent.

Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency at The Nottingham, said: “It is worrying that the successful outcome of many housing transactions relies so heavily on people getting the right mortgage for them very early on.

“Selling or buying a house does not have to be stressful but with hundreds of thousands of transactions failing every year it is clear that people need expert support and advice throughout the process. There is a limit to what you can do to stop people changing their minds but finance should not be an issue.

“Mortgage rates have never been lower and there are a wide range of competitive deals available but arranging finance can take time which should mean securing a deal in principle before starting on the process and sourcing expert advice on all aspects of the deal.”

The research also showed that one in six sellers who have had a deal fall through have suffered more than one sale fail, while 11 per cent of buyers have seen multiple potential purchases fall through.

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Problems with chains were an issue for 25 per cent of sellers who had seen deals fall through, while issues with surveys affected 17 per cent.

For more information about The Nottingham’s estate agency services call 0845 305 4150 or go to