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Rising crime causing more house sales to fall-through, say agents

Survey among branches by leading insurer suggests crime is becoming an increasingly important decision factor for purchasers.

Nigel Lewis

Nearly 30,000 house sales fall through every year because vendors are put off by high crime figures in the local area, it has been revealed.

Research by Churchill among estate agents also reveals that 15% of the branches canvassed by the insurer said that local crime is becoming an increasingly important issue for prospective buyers.

Churchill says 2.4% of all sales fall through as a direct result of buyer’s fears over local crime levels, or approximately 80 sales a day across the nation.

It also claims rising crime rates are to blame and that nearly 70% of potential home owners are fearful of crime rates within the area they are hoping to purchase within.

Some 11% of buyers were ‘extremely concerned’ about local crime levels, the research also shows.

Latest Home Office figures revealed a 19% increase in violent crime, a 17% increase in robbery, a 24% rise in public order offences  and that overall crime levels increased by 7% year-on-year.

Estate agents told Churchill that buyers were most worried about burglary, drug-related crimes, assault, property vandalism, damage to vehicles and car theft.

Homebuyer confidence

“With crime rates rising across the UK, it is no surprise to see that this is having a detrimental knock-on effect on homebuyer confidence. Buying a home is a major financial commitment,” says Craig Rixon, Head of Churchill Home Insurance. Click here to see Churchill’s home security tips.

This goes some way to explain recent research that reported a hike in the number of house sales falling through. Quick Move Now said the rate had increased to 38.8% in 2018, up from 21.6% in 2016.

March 29, 2019

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