Gazumping is twice as prevalent in London than the rest of England, research from Market Financial Solutions (MFS) has revealed.
Gazumping is when a seller accepts an offer but then goes back on the agreement and accepts a higher offer from someone else.
Over the past decade 62% of London buyers have been outbid at the eleventh hour, compared to 31% across England and Wales.
Gazundering – when a buyer suddenly lowers their offer late in the process once the seller is committed – was also far more common in the capital.
While 21% of homebuyers in England and Wales admitted to having gazundered a seller in the past, almost half (47%) of London buyers said the same.
Paresh Raja, chief executive of MFS, said: “The highly competitive nature of the property market does, unfortunately, lend itself to questionable tactics in some quarters. Gazumping is a prime example, and the data clearly shows that this issue is far more prevalent in London than the rest of the country.
“Estimates suggest that homebuyers lose an average of £2,700 when a purchase falls through. Clearly, gazumping carries serious financial and emotional ramifications.
“Delays in securing a mortgage or loan is a common factor in people being gazumped. 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 than two thirds (68%) of homebuyers feel the UK property market is too competitive, with the figure jumping to 79% among Londoners.
Four in five (79%) would like to see the Government take steps to outlaw gazumping in England and Wales, as they have already in Scotland.