Just one in ten property sales fell through as buyers raced to beat stamp duty deadline

Just 11 percent of property sales fell through between July and September year, as buyers raced to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline. A drop of 28 percent from the previous quarter, property experts are attributing the unusually low fall through figures to a combination of the stamp duty deadline and the current low stock levels.

Throughout 2021, 27 percent of property sales have fallen through before completion.

Reasons for failed sales in 2021

Reason Percentage of failed sales
Buyer tried to renegotiate price after sale had been agreed or changed mind about purchase 37%
Buyer pulled out of purchase due to survey or legal issues 21%
Buyer or seller pulled out of sale due to slow progress 16%
Buyer was refused a mortgage 10.5%
Buyer was gazumped (seller pulled out of the sale due to a higher offer from a different buyer) 10.5%
Other 5%

Danny Luke, managing director of Quick Move Now, said: “The fall through rate for the last three months is really quite unexpectedly low. We do, of course, see market fluctuations, but we usually expect the average fall through rate to sit at around 25 to 35 percent. The unusually low fall through rate from the third quarter of this year shows just how abnormal the market is at the moment. This fall through rate is the lowest we have seen since records began in 2006.

“The current high-demand, low-supply market has left buyers desperate to make each sale work, knowing that they may struggle to find another property if it doesn’t. The end of the stamp duty holiday has also, undoubtedly, had an impact on the number of sales being rushed through to completion in order for the buyer to benefit from the financial savings.

“Current low stock levels mean the majority of people who are moving have a strong need to do so. They are serious and committed to the move, which ultimately results in a lower fall through rate.”