The number of house sales falling through increased by 5.2% in the third quarter of 2018

The number of house sales falling through in the UK before completion is on the rise, up 5.2% quarter on quarter, according to new figures.

They reached a fall through rate on 28.3% in the third quarter of 2018, the data from independent home buyer Quick Move Now shows.

Its report points out that the start of the year was incredibly difficult, with fall through rates hitting a first quarter 10 year high of 38.8%.

In the third quarter, of the property sales that were unsuccessful, some 35.3% were attributed to the buyer changing their mind while 29.4% were as a result of the buyer pulling out after issues were identified in the property survey, 23.5% due to the buyer having difficulty securing a mortgage and 11.8% due to a property chain collapse.

The data also shows that in the 12 months to date the fall through rate is at 30% while over six months it is 25.7%.

According to Danny Luke, Quick Move Now’s managing director, 2018 has been a challenging year for the UK property market. ‘Political and economic uncertainty has left many homeowners and would-be buyers feeling nervous, and most estate agents are now openly acknowledging a slowing market after an unseasonably sluggish summer,’ he said.

‘The second quarter was a little more positive, as the market showed signs of beginning to pick up. However, it seems as Brexit looms ever closer, with no deal yet finalised and growing speculation of a second referendum, would-be buyers are proving cautious,’ he explained.

He also pointed out that in a slowing, buyer centric market, it is increasingly important that sellers are proactive, making sure a property is priced attractively to increase the number of viewings and well presented to make it stand out from other properties on the market.

‘Declutter, refresh your paintwork and make sure your property’s best assets are well highlighted if you want to stand the best chance of securing a sale. If you are in need of a quick sale in a slow market, you may also want to explore alternative routes such as property auction or a cash property buying company,’ he said.

‘Whilst it is important to highlight that you will achieve a lower price than on the open market, either of these options should enable you to secure a sale in a matter of weeks,’ he added.