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Housing Market

Property sale fall-throughs drop to one in 10

The fall-through figure of 11% for the last quarter is the lowest since 2006 and is down 28% on the previous quarter, says property firm.

Richard Reed

Just one in 10 property sales fell through in the third quarter of this year, as buyers raced to beat the Stamp Duty holiday deadline.

The dramatic drop from the year-to-date figure of 27% comes as demand for property has soared – while availability has fallen sharply.

The fall-through figure of 11% for the last quarter is the lowest since 2006 and is down 28% on the previous quarter.

Property firm Quick Move Now, which supplied the data, say the figure is “shockingly low” and warns the Stamp Duty holiday has increased the likelihood of a house price crash.

The company helps vendors avoid property chains by buying their homes and selling them on.

Inflated prices

Quick Move Now managing director Danny Luke said: “The fall-through rate for the last three months is really quite shockingly low. We know that without any mitigating factors the fall-through rate will typically sit at around 25% to 35%. Of course, we are not currently in ‘typical’ times.

“Fans of the measures say the Stamp Duty holiday gave the property market a much needed shot in the arm to get things going again after lockdown.

“However, critics suggest that it has done untold damage to the property market, artificially inflating prices and increasing the chances of a market crash.”

Desperate buyers

He said the figures clearly showed that the current property market is a very unusual one.

“The current high-demand, low-supply market has left buyers desperate to make each sale work, knowing that they may struggle to find another property if it doesn’t,” he added.

“The end of the stamp duty holiday has also, undoubtedly, had an impact on the number of sales being rushed through to completion in order for the buyer to benefit from the financial savings.

“Current low stock levels mean the majority of people who are moving have a strong need to do so. They are serious and committed to the move, which ultimately results in a lower fall-through rate.”

Reasons for failed sales in 2021
Reason Percentage of failed sales
Buyer tried to renegotiate price after sale had been agreed or changed mind about purchase 37%
Buyer pulled out of purchase due to survey or legal issues 21%
Buyer or seller pulled out of sale due to slow progress 16%
Buyer was refused a mortgage 10.5%
Buyer was gazumped (seller pulled out of the sale due to a higher offer from a different buyer) 10.5%
Other 5%
October 12, 2021

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