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Over a third of home sales in England and Wales fall through before completion

More than a third of home sales fell through in the UK prior to completion during the first quarter of the year, as buyers became increasingly cautious amid greater political and economic uncertainty, according to fresh figures.

New data provided by independent home buyer Quick Move Now reveals that 34% of home sales fell through in Q1 2017, up from 31% in the final quarter of 2016.

According to the research, 36% of all home sales fell through due to the buyer stalling the sale process, while the second most common reason was caused by the purchaser pulling out of the deal due to survey issues, accounting for 14% of sales falling through while another 14% was due to the buyer trying to renegotiate the price.

The purchaser being unable to secure a mortgage accounted for 9% of sales falling through, while the buyer changed their mind in 18% of cases and 9% were caused by a break in the property chain.

Danny Luke, Quick Move Now’s managing director, described 2016 as a “tricky year” for the housing market, and as we move into 2017, there is still a great deal of uncertainty which is having a “negative impact on property market confidence”.

He continued: “We saw property sales fall significantly in the second half of 2016 compared to the period before the EU referendum. This is no surprise as buying a new home is a big decision to make and people tend to hold off making these important decisions, especially in times of uncertainty.

“As we move into 2017, we’ve already seen an increase in the number of property sales that didn’t make it to completion. The biggest reason why house sales didn’t complete in Q1 were due to buyers stalling on the sale process, so there definitely still seems to be an element of caution among property buyers.”

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