The UK capital may be top of the pile where house prices are concerned, but research from one online estate agent suggests that Brighton is the gazumping capital of Britain.
The danger of being gazumped is now the reality for property buyers in the UK, according to eMoov, with one in five out of a poll of just over 1,000 home owners saying they had been gazumped before. Those near the coast, though, have suffered the most, with 34.9 per cent of respondents in Brighton reporting having been previously gazumped during a purchase – the highest rate in the country.
The figures arrive as the UK housing market has enjoyed a strong period of booming prices, fuelled by high demand and low supply. Indeed, earlier this year, reports of “ghost gazumping” arose for the first time in London, with sellers encouraged by estate agents to raise their asking price at the last minute to fetch a higher sum – leaving buyers unable to complete a transactions.
Now, though, the market is entering a period of moderation, with prices cooling down thanks to cautious buyers, lending restrictions and rising supply. Nonetheless, London remains above average for gazumping activity, according to eMoov, with 31.9 per cent in the capital coming within touching distance of a purchase, before it was snatched from their grasp.
The tactic of sealed bidding, particularly rife in the capital, provides the ideal environment for potential gazumpers, argues the online estate agency.
Outside of the South East the average drops from 22 per cent to 18 per cent. Birmingham figures show 27 per cent of property buyers in the area have been gazumped with Sheffield at 22 per cent, Bristol at 21 per cent and Leeds and Nottingham at 20 per cent apiece.
The research also found that the higher the price of the property, the more likely you are to be gazumped. Of those that had been previously gazumped 27 per cent were Over properties of £500,000 or above. This dropped to 25 per cent for properties valued between £200,000 and £500,000 and a further 6 per cent for properties under £200,000.
Russell Quirk, CEO of eMoov comments: “It is one of those things in the current structure of property purchasing unfortunately. Buyers that have displayed honest interest in a property only to be let down by owners with pound signs in their eyes, often encouraged by traditional estate agent looking to increase his fee percentage.”
While the market has stabilised, though, that does not mean an end to potential obstacles for house-hunters. Quirk adds: “If these markets cool off too much, we could see gazundering coming back in. This is a tactic in areas with little demand where the buyer calls up just before the exchange of contracts and demands to pay less.”
Source: The Movechannel