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Almost a third of buyers have been gazumped

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Losing out on a property in this way can be costly, with buyers wasting nearly £3,000 in fees
Almost a third of buyers have been gazumped

A surprising 31% of UK homebuyers have been gazumped in the past decade, according to new research commissioned by Market Financial Solutions.

And many of them have lost out financially as a result – 39% have had to pay fees to intermediaries, such as lawyers or surveyors, despite not completing on a property purchase, the bridging lender found.

Figures from Which? show that on average homebuyers lose £2,899 when a house deal falls through.

Despite this, 43% said they would consider gazumping a rival buyer by intentionally making an offer at the last minute.

Hard to buy

Two thirds of buyers said it has become increasingly difficult to buy properties over recent years, as a result of greater competition and a lack of housing supply.

Of those who said they have experienced one or more property purchases fall through, 34% said it was due to either themselves or someone in the chain not getting their mortgage approved in time.

A third (33%) of those surveyed also said they encountered delays when trying to sell a house they owned, forcing them to miss out on their next purchase.

New rules needed

The vast majority (80%) of respondents are in favour of the government introducing laws to prevent gazumping in England and Wales, as is currently the case in Scotland.

In October, the government said it was considering the introduction of a “reservation agreement” to bind buyers and sellers to a deal, reducing the chances of gazumping.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “Not only is gazumping a cause for frustration and disappointment, it also can incur significant costs to the prospective buyer. Avoiding complicated chains and having immediate access to finance can reduce the chances of a prospective buyer missing out on a purchase, but it’s clear from MFS’ research that further measures are needed to prevent gazumping in England and Wales.

“In the aftermath of the general election, let’s hope the elected government looks at measures to stamp out gazumping as a top priority.”

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