Over one-third of real estate deals fell through in the U.K. during the first three months of the year, according to a report Thursday by Market Financial Solutions.
The percentage of home transactions that broke down before completion was at its highest level in over a decade, according to the London-based financial lender. Across the country, 38.8% of deals fell through, while in London, that figure was almost double at 61%.
In the past 10 years, £10.7 billion (US$14.45 billion) has been lost by people having an offer accepted only for the deal to later fail, the report said. Buyers lose an average of £2,899 (US$3,915) in solicitor and surveyor fees for every broken transaction.
The most common reason people lost out on a purchase was because of a breakdown within the property chain—where a buyer’s ability to transact is dependent on the seller acquiring another home. That accounted for 41% of failed transactions.
Delays in mortgage delivery were the cause of 33% of broken deals.
And an additional 16% of buyers said that their property purchase fell through because their mortgage lender rescinded the agreement.
“The U.K. is renowned for its love of bricks and mortar—many people strive to own a home, while real estate has long been a popular asset among investors,” said Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions, in the report. “However, amidst such strong demand for property, it is concerning to see so many deals falling through after the formal house-buying process has begun.”
“Evidently, difficulties in accessing the finance they need to complete the deal is a major issue for buyers,” he said.
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