UK Markets close in 5 hrs 12 mins

Property curse of the 1980s is alive and well as 2.5 million buyers say they have been gazumped

Londoners are the most ruthless property buyers in the country with three times as many people saying they have fallen victim to gazumping.

An estimated 15% of people who live in the capital – about 1 million – say they lost out on a property to a rival despite having their offer accepted. The national average is 5% of all buyers, or about 2.57 million, who have been gazumped.

Almost one in ten adults in London revealed they have lost money on fees to intermediaries such as solicitors and surveyors because they were pipped to the post during a property purchase. Across the UK, more than £4.4 billion has been lost through failed property purchases.

Research by bridging lender Market Financial Solutions (MFS) shows the phenomenon of the late 1980s and early 90s is still very much in evidence.

According to the MFS, more than 1 million Britons admitted to gazumping other property buyers by bidding on properties soon to change hands, while the same number said they would do so in 2017.

The issue of being gazumped on a property purchase brings added costs – 3% of UK adults (1.54 million people), and 9% of Londoners, have lost out on fees to intermediaries such as solicitors and surveyors because they were pipped to the post during a property purchase.

Cutthroat: research shows gazumping is still a real issue for many home buyers (Getty)

The the average house price in London stands at £473,073 – more than twice the national average of £217,000. Which? has revealed that property buyers lose £2,899 in fees on average on a failed purchase, meaning that across the nation the cost of being gazumped totals more than £4.4 billion.

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

The survey showed that an inability access funds in time is one of the main reasons that property deals unravel at an advanced stage; 9% of Londoners said they had experienced this issue, while 1.54 million UK adults also stated they had been undone by this problem.

Mr Raja added: “The research reveals that delays in accessing the funds required to complete the deal is one of the most common reasons for a property purchase falling through.

“The statistics show that as mortgage lenders implement greater regulation, getting finance in a timely manner has become an increasingly pertinent challenge.”