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Slow conveyancing and mortgage deals allow gazumping - survey claim

Homebuyers are being gazumped due to lengthy property chains and delays in securing a mortgage, it’s been claimed.

Research from Market Financial Solutions suggests that the slow house buying process adds to “financial losses and emotional strain” for many purchasers and vendors.

The lender commissioned an independent survey of 1,183 people who have bought a property in England and Wales since 2014, finding that 37% have been gazumped during the process. Of those, 59% say they were gazumped, at least in part, because of delays or long waiting times in getting a mortgage.

A further 58% say they were gazumped on a property they wanted to purchase as they were stuck waiting for a buyer for their property. 

More broadly, 54% of those who have been gazumped cite being caught in a long property chain as a significant factor.

The survey also appears to shed light on the financial and emotional toll of being gazumped: 62% of people said they missed out on their dream home, and 61% were forced to buy a property that they liked less.

In addition, 59% lost money they had invested in the property-buying process such as survey costs and legal fees.

Paresh Raja, chief executive of Market Financial Solutions, says: “Much is made about the root causes of gazumping, namely the fierce competition there is in the market due to an imbalance between supply and demand. But in looking for the cause, we often overlook the emotional and financial impact that gazumping can inflict.

“… Clearly, with lengthy property chains and mortgage delays cited as key factors behind people being gazumped, there are lessons for lenders, brokers and agents. All parties must work together to reduce the risk of delays and ensure that buyers can secure finance at pace. In turn, this will help close the window of opportunity for gazumping tactics and minimise the emotional and financial impact on would-be buyers.”

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