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Government to clampdown on gazumping

Thursday 09 November 2017

As part of a renewed attempt to improve the homebuying process, the government are drawing up plans to clampdown on gazumping.

The government specifically identified gazumping as a problematic part of the house buying process, that it wants to stamp out in its reforms.

Ministers are reviewing regulations that will bring an end to time-wasting offers and will look at introducing new rules to stop people from cutting their offer at an advanced point in a sale.

Newly released figures suggest that one in eight transactions in England and Wales this year have been subject to gazumping, being sold at at least one per cent higher than that agreed at the point of Sold Subject To Contract.

Consultancy firm TwentyCi says that Greater London has seen the greatest level of gazumping, with 14.46 per cent of property transactions affected. The West Midlands came in a close second with 13.97 per cent of transactions, while the South West and Wales have seen the lowest rates of properties being gazumped, at nine per cent and seven per cent respectively.

Across England and Wales overall however, the numbers indicate that there has been a general increase in the rate of gazumping as the year has progressed, rising from 10 per cent of properties in Q1 to 13 per cent in Q3.

Ministers will now consider new “lock-in agreements” designed to increase the trust between buyers and sellers.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“I’m sure at the Budget, we’ll be covering housing but what I want to do is make sure that we’re using everything we have available to deal with this housing crisis. We want to help everyone have a good quality home they can afford, and improving the process of buying and selling is part of delivering that.

“Buying a home is one of life’s largest investments so, if it goes wrong, it can be costly. That’s why we’re determined to make the process cheaper, faster and less stressful. This can help save people money and time so they can focus on what matters – finding their dream home. I want to hear from the industry on what more we can do to tackle this issue.”

NAEA Propertymark Chief Executive Mark Hayward commented: 

“We support any and all practical initiatives to improve the house buying and selling process and have engaged with Government to explore how best this can be achieved both for the consumer and the sector.”