Almost half of all house sales in England and Wales fell through before completion in the final quarter of 2018, according to a ‘quick buy’ property company.
YourMoveNow, which has monitored fall-throughs for many years, says the fourth quarter of last year saw an enormous 49.8 per cent of sales fall through - up from a more typical 28.3 per cent in the third quarter.
However, the annual fall through rate for the total 12 months of 2018 remained relatively steady at 30.6 per cent - one per cent higher than the 2017 figure.
The key reasons for fall-throughs last year were:
- buyer simply changing their mind and pulling out (30%);
- seller receiving higher offer after sale agreed (19%);
- survey alarming buyer leading to pull out (16%);
- difficulty securing a mortgage (13%);
- slow progress leading to pull out (10%);
- chain collapsing (9%);
- buyer reducing offer after original offer accepted (3%).
“Continued political uncertainty, and knock-on financial concerns, undoubtedly took a toll on market confidence. This is particularly evident in the steep rise in the number of sales falling through before completion towards the end of the year” says Danny Luke, Quick Move Now's managing director.
“With speculation on which way interest rates will head after [Brexit day] March 29 being mixed, many would-be buyers are choosing to 'wait and see' before moving forward with such a large financial commitment. The annual fall through rate figure of 30.6 percent is reassuring, however, and shows a certain degree of market consistency.
“It is challenging to make predictions for the year ahead, but I would expect the higher fall through rate seen in the last quarter to calm down, as Brexit unfolds and the UK property market find a new 'normal', post-Brexit.”