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Over a third of sales fall through before completion - claim

More than one in three house sales across England and Wales fell through before completion in the first quarter of 2017, according to a ‘quick buying’ company.

Quick Move Now, which monitors transactions, says figures indicate that 34 per cent of all house sales fell through before completion in the first quarter of this year.

Of those fall throughs, Quick Move Now claims 36 per cent were down to ‘house sales not processing’, with 14 per cent down to buyers pulling out citing survey issues, another 14 per cent after buyers tried to negotiate on their original offer, 18 per cent because ‘buyer changed mind’ and nine per cent for each of ‘lender refused credit’ and ‘chain break’.


The reasons behind recorded house sale fall throughs have shifted from the previous quarter, where 43 per cent of all sales fell through due to both buyers and sellers renegotiating their offer for a better deal.

"The biggest reason why house sales didn't complete in Q1 were due to buyers stalling on the sale process, so there definitely still seems to be an element of caution among property buyers” says Danny Luke, Quick Move Now's managing director.

Quick Move Now uses the term 'before completion' in its measure - although it applies this to fall-throughs after the offer stage, so not necessarily after exchange. 

Meanwhile the latest market report from online estate agency HouseSimple suggests that property supply across the country was up 3.7 per cent in March compared to the month before - but there was a hefty 10.3 per cent rise if London was excluded.

However, the capital’s property supply dropped 0.3 per cent.

To compile the figures, the agency looks at data from more than 500,000 properties listed on major portals.

“Although new listings were up in March, we’d have hoped to see more sellers, particularly in London, putting their homes on the market as we enter the spring’s peak property selling season. We need a supply boost in April, because the demand from buyers remains strong and thanks to the continued competitive mortgage deals still on offer, they are more than committed to purchasing” insists HouseSimple spokesman Alex Gosling.

  • Rob Hailstone

    What percentage fell through before conveyancers were instructed?

    What percentage fell through after conveyancers were instructed but before exchange?

    What percentage fell through after exchange but before completion (if any)?

  • Simon Shinerock

    All good questions

  • icon

    Interesting increase in fall through rates as more sellers elect for a cheaper, on-line approach.

    I wonder if this might in part be due to the absence of local expertise and quality control that a hands-on property professional should offer from a 'traditional' estate agency

  • Karen James

    Part of the problem has been the move towards 'no sale, no fee'. Other than time spent, sellers have nothing to lose from pulling out of a transaction at any time. Buyers will perhaps have invested a bit more, but even then most search companies now offer a 'second set of searches free'. I have never calculated the cost of time spent on abortive transactions that we are unable to charge for - sometimes it is better not to know! 


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