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Number of homes sold at loss since 2007 revealed

Of these properties, 40.7% (131,442) were sold at a loss, with the average shortfall being £24,430 (on average 11.0% of the house price).

Over the same period, 55.6% (179,689) of homes sold for a profit generating an average return of £45,199 per transaction (on average 20.4% of the house price) and the remaining 3.7% (12,051) sold for the purchase price. 

Both the probability of making a loss and the size of the average loss have increased significantly since the economic downturn.  An analysis of transactions since 1995 shows 91.5% of homes sold for a profit, 7.5% for a loss and 1.0% for original sale price.

Among homeowners that have sold their home at a loss, the most common reason for doing so, cited by 18%, was to purchase a new home at a good price. Divorce or separation was also cited by 14% of loss-makers, the need to upscale by 13% and relocating for work by 12%. 11% of homeowners who sold at a loss say they were forced to do so because they couldn’t afford the mortgage repayments and 8% did so because of a job loss or redundancy. 

Looking forward, 13% of homeowners say they are concerned that they may be forced to sell their current home for less than the purchase price, rising to 25% for those aged 18-34.

Sean Oldfield, chief executive officer, Castle Trust said: "Since the downturn, over 130,000 families have made a loss on their home placing them under enormous financial and emotional pressures. When you take into account the costs associated with moving home, from stamp duty to solicitor’s fees, this situation becomes even worse.

"The long-term performance of house prices shows national house price growth in line with national wage growth, but it is clear that individual house prices are really volatile and that home ownership is risky – much more risky than almost everyone appreciates."

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