Quarter of house sales fell through in 2017

PUBLISHED: 14:25 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:25 16 January 2018

The situation was at its worst during the first quarter of 2017, when 35 per cent of sales collapsed

The situation was at its worst during the first quarter of 2017, when 35 per cent of sales collapsed

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More than 30 per cent of house sales in England and Wales fell through before completion in 2017.

According to data released by property firm Quick Move Now, this is due to both buyers and sellers remaining on the lookout for a better deal - even after an offer has been accepted.

The situation was at its worst during the first quarter of 2017, when 35 per cent of sales collapsed, compared to 29.6 per cent in the final three months of the year.

The vast majority (79 per cent) of sales that fell through between October and December 2017 did so because the seller accepted a higher offer on the property or the buyer changed their mind.

A further 12.5 per cent of sales didn’t proceed because of problems securing finance from the mortgage lender. The remaining 8.5 per cent failed due to a link in the chain falling apart, or because either the buyer or seller felt the sale wasn’t progressing quickly enough.

Danny Luke, Quick Move Now’s managing director, said: “2017 was a tricky year for the property market. A great deal of uncertainty plagued both the political and economic arenas, which undoubtedly had an impact on market confidence.

“Brexit has undoubtedly played a role, as buyers are nervous of large financial commitments in the face of such political uncertainty.

“Shortage of supply in many areas remains an issue, with many homeowners choosing to improve rather than move due to the lack of choice on offer, which means those that are keen to move, or have no choice, find themselves in a highly competitive market when it comes to desirable properties.”

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