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A further 16% of buyers said they have had a property purchase fall through because a lender rescinded their mortgage agreement, despite them having a mortgage in principle.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