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House sale fall through rate rose significantly in last quarter

More than one in four house sales fell through in the last quarter of 2015. This is according to data from fast house sale company Quick Move Now.

Q4 2015 saw a house sale fall through rate of 27.94%, an increase of 8.32% from Q3. Figures for the annual year-to-date fall through were also released by Quick Move Now, with the year-to-date fall through rate staying fairly consistent throughout, at roughly 29%. It finished the year at 29.26%.

“2015 was an interesting year for the UK property market, and the fall through rates reflect that,” Danny Luke, Business Manager at Quick Move Now, commented. “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. In fact, nine percent of sales that fell through did so as a result of not being able to secure a mortgage.”

The two major reasons for house sales collapsing in Q4 2015 were buyers changing their mind (27.2%) and problems identified at survey or failed renegotiation following a survey (also 27.2%). The supply shortage has meant buyers moving quicker to secure a property that maybe isn’t completely ideal for them. But they’ve acted decisively through a fear that they’ll be unable to find anything better.

Luke added that some buyers “inevitably get cold feet about such a large investment, or find that a survey confirms their fears, and pull out before the sale completes.” He also said that chain collapses still featured prominently among the main reasons why house sales fall through, with 22.7% of property sales collapsing as a result of chain issues.

Further reasons for failed completions were sellers pulling out for a higher offer (9%) and buyer health issues/personal problems (4.5%). 

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