Over a quarter of sales fell through in the UK in last few months of 2015

The house sale fall through rate in the UK increased in the last quarter of 2015, with more than one in four house sales falling through, new research has found.

There was a house sale fall through rate of 27.94% in the fourth quarter of 2015, a rise 8.32% from the previous quarter, according to the figures from independent home buyer Quick Move Now.

However, the year to date fall through rate remained fairly constant throughout 2015, at around 29% and finished the year at 29.26%.

According to Danny Luke, business manager at Quick Move Now, it was an interesting year for the UK property market, and the fall through rates reflect that. ‘Tougher lending criteria was introduced as a result of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which meant some prospective buyers found it challenging to secure a mortgage, or found they were able to borrow less than they had anticipated,’ he said.

He pointed out that some 9% of sales that fell through did so as a result of not being able to secure a mortgage and the two biggest reasons for house sales falling through the last quarter were buyers changing their mind at 27.2% and problems identified at survey or failed renegotiation following a survey also at 27.2%.

‘A lack of properties coming to market has led to prospective buyers having to move very quickly in order to secure a property, and may mean they put an offer in on a less than ideal property through fear that they’ll be unable to find anything else. Some inevitably get cold feet about such a large investment, or find that a survey confirms their fears, and pull out before the sale completes,’ explained Luke.

The research also found that chain collapse still featured prominently with 22.7% of property sales falling through as a result of chain issues, and it’s definitely an issue very much on sellers’ minds. ‘We get calls every day from sellers keen to secure a guaranteed sale so they don’t risk missing out on their onward purchase due to chain collapse,’ added Luke.

Other reasons involved the seller pulling out for a higher offer, affecting 9% of cases and buyer health issues or personal problems accounted for 4.5%.