Three in ten UK homebuyers have been gazumped


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A new survey of more than 500 people who have bought a home in England or Wales since 2012, revealing the prevalence of gazumping, and their attitudes towards it:

  • 31% have been gazumped by a rival bidder while trying to buy a property in the last decade
  • 79% are in favour of the Government introducing laws to ban gazumping in England and Wales, as are in place in Scotland
  • However, 47% would consider gazumping a rival buyer in the future if it meant getting the property they wanted

Four fifths of UK homebuyers are in favour of banning gazumping in England and Wales, new research by Market Financial Solutions (MFS) revealed.

The London-based specialist lender commissioned an independent survey of 524 people who have brought a property in England or Wales since 2012. It found that 31% were gazumped at least once while trying to buy their property, with the figure rising to 52% among those who bought in London.

While 79% are in favour of the government introducing laws to ban gazumping in England and Wales, 47% admitted they would consider gazumping a rival buyer themselves in the future if it meant getting the property they wanted.

MFS’s research found that 68% of homeowners feel the property market is too competitive, with 79% believing that gazumping and gazundering have become more common in recent years due to high demand and limited supply.

Of those who have been gazumped, 17% said they ended up buying a property they liked less.

Elsewhere, the study found that a quarter (25%) of homebuyers were gazumped because they were stuck in a long property chain and took too long to complete the purchase. Another 20% admitted that they were gazumped due to delays and long waiting times in getting a mortgage.

Almost a quarter (23%) said that they lost money in intermediary fees as a result of being gazumped. This is noteworthy, given it is estimated that homebuyers lose an average of £2,700 when a purchase falls through.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said:

“With demand for UK property constantly high, buying a home has become very competitive.

Consequently, despite wanting to ban gazumping altogether, many buyers clearly fear that they will lose out on their desired property at critical closing stages if they don’t partake in gazumping tactics.

Aside from the obvious financial costs of being gazumped, missing out on a property can be the source of a great deal of frustration and emotional damage.

MFS’s research shows that long property chains and time-consuming mortgage applications often leave homebuyers open to gazumping.

So, preparation is key – sourcing the right lender and product ahead of time, and working with service providers who can act quickly, could prove crucial in ensuring a deal is completed with no complications.

More generally, it will be intriguing to see if the Government does indeed bring about any legislation or reform to crack down on the practice of gazumping, which evidently remains prevalent in the English and Welsh property market.”