Property news roundup: Why do so many home sales fall through?

Plus, aversion to grand designs, Thunderbird home for sale, latest house price figures, Grand National effect

A 'fall through index' for March suggests that over a quarter of home sales fail to complete, a 63 per cent increase compared with March 2013.

Donna Houguez, Market Analyst at Quick Move Now which released the data, said: "It isn't surprising that as buyers are rushing to make purchases before prices increase further, a higher proportion of those sales are falling through.

"Since the property market crash in 2007, although the fall through rate has changed, the main reason sales failed to complete has remained the inability to secure mortgage finance. Now that has changed. The majority of sales falling through do so because of issues on the buyers’ side  - they either receive a better offer or they experience problems within their own chain.

"This is a major step-change and shows us that we have moved definitively into a sellers’ market."

F.A.B. home for sale

Built by property developer Eddie Mitchell and inspired by the home of International Rescue on Tracy Island, 'Thunderbird' in Poole's Branksome Park area is on the market with Sotheby's at a guide price of £2,950,000. It doesn't have room for a space rocket, but the detached home does have five bedrooms, a luxury fitted kitchen, cinema and gymnasium.

Latest house price figures

Home prices across England and Wales jumped 1.3 per cent over the last month, making the annual rise 8.4 per cent, according to Home.co.uk.

The biggest price rises were in the South East (1.8 per cent), East Anglia (2.2 per cent) and the South West (1.7 per cent). Overall, the average time a property now spends on the market has fallen to 96 days, 34 days less than in April 2013.

Earlier in the week, official ONS figures from the Government put the overall rise in the UK at 9.1 per cent between February 2013 and February 2014, up by 9.7 per cent in England, 5.3 per cent in Wales, 2.4 per cent in Scotland and 2.8 per cent in Northern Ireland. Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 5.8 per cent.

In February 2014, prices paid by first-time buyers were 10.5  per cent higher on average than in February 2013.

Grand National effect on property

The Grand National final straight saw Rightmove traffic fall by 15 per cent. Head of Communications at Rightmove, Matthew James, said: "This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a stand-out sporting event hit our traffic. It happened last year when Andy Murray served for Wimbledon glory and in 2012 when we picked up three dips on Super Saturday which tallied perfectly with Greg Rutherford, Jess Ennis and Mo Farah winning gold."

Not so keen on grand designs

New research reveals that more than three quarters of househunters look for properties which require very little work, while a third say that they would only consider buying a newly built home.

The survey from Gocompare.com home insurance asked more than 2,000 people about what they would look for in a new home. Of those homebuyers considering a ‘house project',  just under a quarter would be happy to buy a property that needed major renovation work.

Energy efficiency held the biggest appeal for those preferring new-build homes, with a third saying that new-builds are well insulated,  cheaper to heat, and ‘maintenance-free'.

Ben Wilson, from Gocompare.com, said: "While many people enjoy watching home makeover and renovation programmes on television, our research suggests that most aren't that keen on undertaking their own ‘grand design' or restoration project."

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