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British owners are buying new property before selling existing homes

One in five British homeowners purchased a property prior to selling their existing home, a new study conducted by CoverBuilder has revealed.

The question of whether it’s beneficial to buy a new property before putting an existing one on the market can be a tricky one, as it leads to buildings being left unoccupied for a substantial amount of time before it’s picked up by a new buyer.

Following an influx in searches for unoccupied property insurance via its website, the insurance specialist polled over 2,800 homeowners aged 25 and over who sold an existing property and purchased a new one within the last year.


Respondents were divided across each UK region and were asked if they put their previous home on the market before or after putting an offer in for their current property.

The majority of participants (79%) waited to make any offers on new properties until they’d accepted an offer from a buyer, while the remaining 21% gave themselves the chance to have an offer accepted on their next home before putting their previous home on the market.

Homeowners that waited to make any offers until they’d sold their property (41%) admitted to researchers that they felt rushed into selling their home, and wish they had done things the other way around.

Meanwhile, 28% believed that had they waited to put their home on the market after securing a new one, they would have been able to make a bigger profit and sell their previous property for a higher amount.

Just 17% of those who purchased a new home before putting their existing property on the market admitted that they needed to leave their previous home empty and unoccupied after moving into their next one. Despite this, 21% took out an unoccupied insurance policy for this period.

“Whilst there are both benefits and drawbacks to finding a new home prior to selling your existing one, there is no denying that it gives homebuyers the time and freedom to suss out the housing market and take the time to find a property that fits them and their family,” Rob Rushton, head of CoverBuilder, commented.

“We are certainly seeing a rise in customers wanting to make sure they’ve found their ideal next home before hammering that ‘For Sale’ sign into the front lawn. As it currently stands, 20% of our total policies have been taken for empty properties that are awaiting sales, with the average customer taking this cover out for a length of four months.”

Researchers examined the answers to reveal which region is the most likely to buy a new property before putting their existing home on the market. The results are as follows:

·         London – 28%

·         South East – 26%

·         South West – 24%

·         West Midlands – 23%

·         Yorkshire and Humberside – 21%

·         Scotland – 21%

·         North West – 20%

·         Northern Ireland – 18%

·         East Midlands – 17%

·         East of England – 16%

·         Wales – 15%

·         North East – 14%


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