Mortgage problems 'block one in three house sales'

More than one in three house sales or purchases fall through because buyers or sellers cannot arrange a mortgage in time our latest research* shows.

Our study found mortgage issues were the biggest reason for house transactions failing over the past five years with 34% of people who have tried to buy or sell blaming finance problems for their deal not going through. Lack of finance was not the only block for would-be sellers – around 32% say their plans were scuppered because buyers changed their mind at the last minute.

The research shows it is buyers who are more likely to have mortgage issues than sellers. Our study found more than one in five (22%) have had sales or purchases fall through in the past five years because of mortgage issues but 15% have been buyers compared with just 7% of sellers.

HMRC data** shows a total of 104,200 residential property transactions were completed in July as the market recovered from a slump in April to just 73,430 following the introduction of new buy-to-let stamp duty rules. Up to 1.3 million house transactions were completed in the year to 5 April compared with 1.2 million in the previous year.

Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency at The Nottingham, said: “It is worrying that the successful outcome of many housing transactions relies so heavily on people getting the right mortgage for them very early on.

“Selling or buying a house does not have to be stressful but with hundreds of thousands of transactions failing every year it is clear that people need expert support and advice throughout the process. There is a limit to what you can do to stop people changing their minds but finance should not be an issue.

“Mortgage rates have never been lower and there are a wide range of competitive deals available but arranging finance can take time which should mean securing a deal in principle before starting on the process and sourcing expert advice on all aspects of the deal.

“At The Nottingham we search over 60 lenders to find the right mortgage for our customers and help them every step of the way.”

The Nottingham’s research shows one in six sellers who have had deals fall through have suffered more than one sale fail while 11% of buyers have had more than one purchase fail.

Problems with chains were an issue for 25% of sellers who had seen deals fall through while issues with surveys affected 17%.

* Research conducted online between 25th and 30th August 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,009 adults 18+ by independent market research firm Consumer Intelligence


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