More than a million London housebuyers have been gazumped by rival bidders

Fifteen per cent of adults in the city have lost out on a property purchase to a rival buyer at the very last minute

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Tuesday 31 January 2017 13:13 GMT
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The recently published Nationwide House Price Index shows that the average house price in London stands at £473,073 – more than twice the national average of £217,000
The recently published Nationwide House Price Index shows that the average house price in London stands at £473,073 – more than twice the national average of £217,000 (Rex)

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More than a million people in London trying to buy property have experienced being gazumped by a rival buyer after their offer was accepted, according to new research.

A survey of almost 2,000 people conducted by bridging lender Market Financial Solutions and published on Tuesday, shows that more than £4.4bn in intermediary fees have been lost as a result of property purchases falling through at the last minute.

Fifteen per cent of adults in the city admit to having in the past lost out on a property purchase to a rival buyer at the very last minute, according to the study, which is three times the national figure of just 5 per cent.

“Most people who have dipped their toe into the property market will have felt the frustration of deals falling through at the last minute,” said Paresh Raja, chief executive officer of MFS.

“Not only are people losing out on the fees they pay to solicitors and surveyors, but many buyers are also losing out on their dream home.”

The results illustrate the dog-eat-dog nature of the capital’s property market.

As well as domestic demand, London ranks second in the world for foreign property investment, with £18.8 billion worth of property bought by overseas buyers in the year to June 2016, according to a recent report by estate agent Knight Frank.

The report by MFS showed that deals are most likely to falter because of the availability of funding, and that prospective buyers aged between 18 and 34 were most vulnerable to a funding squeeze.

“As mortgage lenders implement greater regulation, getting finance in a timely manner has become an increasingly pertinent challenge,” said Mr Raja.

The London housing market is also by far the most expensive in the country.

The recently published Nationwide House Price Index shows that the average house price in London stands at £473,073 – more than twice the national average of £217,000.

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