Around 41 per cent of homes – roughly 130,000 properties in England and Wales - have been sold at a loss since the peak of the property market in 2007. That figure rises to 48 per cent for properties in the North of England.
According to new figures from Castle Trust based on more than 17 million transactions, the average loss was £24,430, or 11 per cent of the average house price. Over the same period, 56 per cent of homes sold for a profit (averaging £45,199).
Homeowners who sold at a loss said their reasons were to purchase a new home at a good price (18 per cent), divorce/separation (14 per cent), the need to get a bigger property (13 per cent) and relocating for work (12 per cent). Another 11 per cent said they were forced to because they couldn’t afford the mortgage repayments and 8 per cent because of losing a job/redundancy.
Looking to the future, 13 per cent of homeowners now fear they may be forced to sell their current home for less than the purchase price, rising to 25 per cent for those aged 18-34.
Sean Oldfield, chief executive officer, Castle Trust said: "Since the downturn, over 130,000 families have made a loss on their home placing them under enormous financial and emotional pressures. When you take into account the costs associated with moving home, from stamp duty to solicitor’s fees, this situation becomes even worse.
“It is clear that individual house prices are really volatile and that home ownership is risky, much more risky than almost everyone appreciates."
Since 2007, the number of homes sold for less than the purchase price was highest in Yorkshire & Humber, where 48.2 per cent of properties sold for a loss and 48 per cent for a profit. In contrast, the highest proportion of homes sold at a profit over this period was in Greater London, where 71 per cent of properties sold for more than the purchase price and 26 per cent for less.