Property buyers across Sheffield have an uphill battle on their hands after the city was declared the ‘gazumping’ capital of the country.
A survey of 1,000 homeowners found that the practice, where the seller of a home accepts an offer but then rejects it in favour of a higher bid, was down across the UK but had risen in Sheffield.
Almost a third of buyers in Sheffield had been gazumped when looking to buy a property, a steep increase of 25 per cent in the last 10 months.
Website eMoov, which carried out the survey, also found that demand for property in Sheffield had soared by 35 per cent, which is said to be the main reason for the rise in gazumping as first-time buyers race to get a foot on the ladder.
Local couple Adelle Draper and Steve Hampshire have been looking to buy a home, ideally in the south west of the city with three bedrooms, a garden and two parking spaces, since January.
They had an offer accepted on a house in Dronfield and a move-in date was agreed, but the seller then pulled out, leaving them hundreds of pounds out of pocket after paying for surveys.
Businesswoman Adelle, aged 29, said: “What this has highlighted to us is that there is a lack of housing for the first-time buyer end of the market in the Sheffield area, particularly from the S11 to S18 side of the city.
“We went to look at a house in Coal Aston where offers were accepted over £160,000. After the first viewings they had three offers on the table by 10am the next day and they said it had gone up to almost £180,000.
“We are going to have to look elsewhere and compromise on the location because it is too difficult. I think the experience has taught us not to become too emotionally attached because it is so frustrating – we’ve been outbid, we thought we’d bought a house and they pulled out.
“It is a bit depressing. It’s like a race where you have to get a viewing the same day it goes on the market, make a decision straightaway and make an offer the second the estate agent opens – but you still might not be the only person who does so.”
Mortgage broker Daniel Bailey, owner of Middleton Finance based in Stoney Middleton in the Peak District, said: “First-time buyers, even when they can get the mortgage, are finding that getting the property they want is becoming really difficult because there seems to be a lot of people chasing the same kind of property.
“We’ve had a couple of first time buyers who have been gazumped.”