Gazumping in England and Wales ‘still alive and kicking’, claims TV presenter Phil Spencer

New research has revealed the extent of failed sales and gazumping in the property market.

Analysis by TwentyCi looked at how many listings on Rightmove and Zoopla between January 1, 2016 and October 15, 2018 were under offer but subsequently fell through.

It found that 35% of fall-throughs occurred in the first three weeks, while 58% of failed sales occur within six weeks of a listing being listed as sold subject to contract.

The research, covering England and Wales, also looked at gazumping and found 16% of would-be buyers were gazumped over the same period.

Sheffield was identified as a gazumping hotspot, with 35% of would-be buyers gazumped, more than double the average for England and Wales.

Researchers assessed 1.08m properties in total, comparing offers accepted with the final price paid, as recorded by the Land Registry.

The study was conducted on behalf of property buying advice company Move iQ and proptech firm Gazeal, which offers products to prevent gazumping, gazundering and fall-throughs.

Phil Spencer, TV presenter and co-founder of Move iQ, said: “For anyone who thought gazumping vanished with the runaway price rises of a few years ago, our findings will come as a reality check.

“Gazumping is alive and well, and still causing heartache for tens of thousands of buyers across England and Wales.

“Britain’s fragmented property market is throwing up huge regional extremes.

“In hotspots where prices are still rising fast, sellers can be tempted to go back on their word to a buyer if they get a better offer elsewhere.

“Meanwhile, in slow markets, the lack of homes for sale can lead sellers to leave would-be buyers in the lurch if they get a last minute offer from someone else.

“But whatever the market conditions, the real culprit is the legal blind spot in the way homes are bought and sold in England and Wales. A legal system that lets sellers leave buyers high and dry weeks, or even months, after accepting their offer is clearly not fit for purpose.”

Rank

City / town

% of buyers suffering gazumping

Average price change, year to January 2019 

Average property price

1

Sheffield

35%

7.0%

£166,959

2

Maidstone

32%

-1.0%

£290,916

3

Cambridge

28%

4.0%

£446,713

4

Birmingham

26%

5.8%

£188,254

5

Manchester

25%

7.6%

£183,992

6

Norwich

24%

5.1%

£209,244

7

Nottingham

22%

3.2%

£142,561

8

Cardiff

20%

5.2%

£210,803

9

Leeds

20%

3.8%

£185,198

10

Bristol

19%

1.3%

£278,872

11

Outer London

19%

0.2%

£425,588

12

Brighton and Hove

18%

4.5%

£371,819

13

Swindon

17%

-0.2%

£217,208

14

Leicester

17%

5.9%

£175,350

15

Plymouth

16%

3.2%

£177,621

16

Newcastle 

16%

2%

£159,389

17

Central London

16%

-1.9%

£567,864

18

Southend-on-Sea

16%

-0.7%

£278,084

19

Liverpool

16%

5.9%

£135,089

20

Southampton

16%

3%

£215,448

21

Oxford

15%

1.3%

£401,014

22

Derby

14%

3.8%

£159,707

23

Stoke-on-Trent

14%

1.7%

£109,131

24

Hull

13%

3.3%

£113,863

25

Luton

12%

-2%

£237,530

26

Portsmouth

11%

2.2%

£213,007

27

Lincoln

11%

2.8%

£151,869

28

Reading

10%

0.3%

£305,126

29

Middlesbrough

9%

0.1%

£113,087

30

Swansea

8%

1.2%

£144,786

31

Northampton

7%

1.9%

£210,825

32

Blackpool

6%

-2.7%

£104,203

33

Carlisle

5%

3.6%

£139,085

Source: TwentyCi and Land Registry data

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15 Comments

  1. AgencyInsider

    READ ORL ABART IT! Companies with gazumping busting products commission survey that shows gazumping is rife! READ ORL ABART IT!
     
    Until the methodolgy and sample size of this so-called research is explained I shall take the findings about gazumping with a very, very large pinch of salt.
     
    Could PIE or TwentyCI please tell us?  

    Report
    1. christinaestateagent68

      I’m from Norwich… can’t say I have seen 24% of our sales being gazumped……

      Report
  2. Moveaside01

    How can you take these so called property experts seriously? Today’s PIE quotes the likes of Woodford, Spencer and Beeney, what have they all got in common?

    i don’t even have to say it?

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  3. ArthurHouse02

    Um…one question, how do they know Gazumping took place? This company would have no knowledge of why any of these sales fell through or at what price they were originally agreed at.

     

    Report
    1. AgencyInsider

      Exactly.

      Report
    2. Moveaside01

      Fair point Arthur!

       

      Report
  4. Peter Ambrose (The Partnership)

    This has a “£350m on the side of a red bus” feel about it – I get the feeling these figures are being used to promote something …

    Clients being gazumped is not exactly a core issue for us – I’ve personally only seen one occurence and this was due to the property being underpriced in the first place.

    As ArthurHouse2 points out – from a data perspective, is TwentyCI making the leap that if the final purchase price is different from the original offer price, then (a) how do they know that and (b) does this prove gazumping behaviour?

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  5. simonwilkinson73

    What Planet do these people come from? Clearly they haven’t sat in an estate agency office behind a desk for many years – if ever!

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  6. scruffy

    Anyone like to define gazumping for these guys ?

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    1. Retiredandrelaxed

      From my years in agency (30), gazumping often seemed to the the term used to describe any situation where the person making the accusation wasn’t getting their own way!

      Report
    2. ArthurHouse02

      Spot. On.

      Report
  7. Fairfax87

    More dodgy research from TwentyCi commissioned by a company with product to sell… Gazeal is a horrible product which simply Introduces another snout in the trough…

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  8. Retiredandrelaxed

    “Researchers assessed 1.08m properties in total, comparing offers accepted with the final price paid, as recorded by the Land Registry.”
     
    As commented above, how on earth would the researchers do this? The sale agreed price (offer accepted) isn’t available to anyone not connected with the transaction, as far as I know. I suppose you could, potentially, find out if you called the agents involved in the quoted 1.08m properties but that would be a mammoth task and I am pretty sure most of those calls would be met with a polite (or not) refusal to disclose the initially agreed price.

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    1. Ostrich17

      In theory, it could be done – only it would have to involve extracting data from all the Zoopla owned CRM systems for offers info.

      Perhaps PIE need to ask TwentyCi some searching questions?

      Report
    2. Retiredandrelaxed

      Good observation.

       

      Of course, if you had access to enough of the systems that agents use to run their businesses, you could interrogate those databases to come up with the information. I never had the need or opportunity to read the terms of business but I wonder if agents using Reapit etc know whether they have signed away access to this sort of data.

       

      Report
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