Azara Blog: House buyer gazundering

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Date published: 2005/02/12

The BBC says:

A third of first-time home buyers may cut their offer at the last minute, forcing the seller to take less or find a new buyer, a survey has found.

In total 31% would consider "gazundering", reflecting first-time buyers new-found confidence in a slowing market, says Yorkshire Bank.

A third of first-time buyers also felt they could be choosier, it found.

Yorkshire Bank's Gary Lumby said the number prepared to drop their offer was a "worrying proportion".

"Unfortunately, a downside to this new-found confidence gained from a slowing market has emerged," he said. "A worrying proportion of first-time buyers would be prepared to drop their offer at the very last minute of the house buying process, leaving the seller in a quandary over whether to take the financial blow or to go through the hassle of putting the house back on the market."

First the survey was almost certainly not scientific (i.e. a random sample) so the result (in particular the 31% figure) is largely meaningless. (The context is also not given, so it's also possible the survey wording was misleading.)

The problem with house transactions in the UK is that they often take forever, often for no good reason. Three months is not uncommon (from acceptance of offer to completion). (This is often the fault of the lawyers.) If the "real" value of a property has fallen or risen substantially in that time then it's not surprising if there is a last minute re-negotiation required.

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