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Rising numbers of sales collapsing at last minute - claim

Sellers are being urged to be upfront about property issues and consider lower offers from better buyers as increasing numbers of house-moves are said to be collapsing at the last minute.

The National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB) claims there has been a “marked rise” in the level of chains breaking down since Christmas.

Spokesman Jonathan Rolande said: “There’s no doubt this is an increasing problem. The likelihood of a collapse has actually been rising  significantly since the Autumn since the botched mini-Budget. And this trend has accelerated since Christmas. 


“There are a number of reasons why a sale falls through - but among the most common are ill-health, redundancy, being declined a mortgage and not being able to secure an affordable rate. 

“I think the property shortage may also be driving this. When a property comes onto the market at a competitive price, there can be a high amount of activity. Some bidding for the property may be overstretching themselves to try and ensure they don’t lose out only to then find they can’t actually afford to finalise the transaction.”

Rolande highlighted TwentyCi data showing the share of agreed sales collapsing before exchange jumped to a high of 25.4% in November, up from 23% in October and 21% in September.

This compares with a rate of 22% in November 2021 and 23% in the same month of 2019.

Another reason for the collapse in sales has been mortgage deals being withdrawn and offers being renegotiated in the aftermath of the mini-Budget, Rolande said.

He suggests sellers should be selective about the agent they use and their local knowledge and should consider offers not just based on the amount but the position of the buyer.

Rolande also suggests using a chain-break service or getting an agent to negotiate price cuts from everyone in the chain to ensure the transaction can continue.

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    Because in six months it'll cost 10-20% less. Interest rate target remains 4.75% due to inflation. All post COVID gains will be lost.


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