South West homes were sold at a loss
More than four out of ten South West homes changing hands during the economic downturn were sold at a loss, a new report has found.
Analysis of the struggling regional market showed that 17,925 properties – 43.6% of the total – lost the seller an average £23,056, or 10.6%, on the deal.
The shortfall, between January 2007 and 2013 equates to a colossal £413 million, housing investment and shared equity provider, Castle Trust has calculated.
But despite the gloom over a sluggish and stalled market, the majority – 21,671 or 52.9% of the total – actually yielded a profit.
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And with a 16.8% return – those who sold for above the price they bought pocketed an average £36,487 – the total in the black amounted to £790 million.
However, this must be seen in terms of transactions since 1995 – which include the property bubble fuelled by available credit which led to the crash – when a massive 91.5% of all homes returned a profit, with just 7.5% sold at a loss.
Sean Oldfield, Castle Trust chief executive officer, said house prices remained "volatile" and home ownership was "much more risky than most people appreciate".
The most common reason for selling cited among those who lost out was to buy a good home at a new price – 18%, followed by divorce or separation at 14% and the need to upsize at 13%.
The risk of selling at a loss in the South West was said to be the fourth lowest of the 10 regions in England and Wales.
Greater London offered the best chance to make money and Yorkshire and Humber the worst.