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Broken chains are biggest cause of fall throughs, costing buyers millions

Breakdowns within property chains are the most common cause of fall throughs, according to a new study.

Over the last ten years, almost a third of people who have had an offer on a property accepted have seen the deal fall through before completion.

More than two fifths of these people said the fall through was due to a breakdown in the chain, while a third said it was due to delays in getting their mortgage delivered by a bank.


A further 16% of buyers said they have had a property purchase fall through because a lender rescinded their mortgage agreement, despite them having a mortgage in principle.

The study, commissioned by bridging lender Market Financial Solutions, surveyed 2,000 people and estimates that around 3.5 million Brits have seen a purchase fall through before completion.

On average, respondents said a failed purchase cost them £2,899 in wasted solicitor and surveyor fees. This equates to an estimated total loss of over £10 billion in purchaser fees since 2008.

Meanwhile, 11% of respondents said they ultimately settled for a property they liked less after having an earlier deal fall through.

“The UK is renowned for its love of bricks and mortar. However, it is concerning to see so many deals falling through after the formal house-buying process has begun," says Paresh Raja, chief executive of Market Financial Solutions.

“Evidently, difficulties in accessing the finance they need to complete the deal is a major issue. Whether rejected by a lender or facing severe delays, buyers must ensure they are aware of all the options available to them," he says.

Poll: Are fall throughs one of the biggest issues for the property market?


  • Matt Faizey

    ............This is where it can go so, so bad one homeowner finally scream ‘enough!’ and pulls out. Then displaying all the usual cognitive dissonance the process is riddled with the ‘contract chaser’ (or 4) and even the solicitor sit back and say………..

    'Can’t be helped, sometimes this happens. That’s moving for you. Just one of those things'

    No it isn’t. It really isn’t..........

    From http://moversandstorers.co.uk/2017/06/19/page-2/

    ETA - a buyer pulling out when their 6month deadline comes up (mortgage) is likely listed as 'finance'. In reality there is way way more at play.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Isn't this just mathematics- when a sale falls through, likelihood it will be in a chain and then its failure impacts on all of those skewing the stats. Surely we need to understand the top three reasons a property falls out of that chain and try and tackle that. Or is that too simple?

    Matt Faizey

    On the contrary, it is exceptionally complex.
    You are spot-on to highlight that.

    However, the parties involved with, contributing to, and often causing the failure would have to have uncomfortable introspection to start the ball rolling.

    It's all psychology.

  • icon

    Study by bridging finance company finds that chains breaking causes fall throughs. If only there was somewhere you go to borrow some money to continue the purchase......

    call me cynical but this isn't really news.....

  • Gene Lewis

    There is a company called Gazeal which has a service to reduce this problem: https://www.gazeal.co.uk/this-is-money/


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