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A third of house sales fall through because of cold feet

As many as a third of house buyers are pulling out of purchases at the very last minute after getting cold feet amid fears of a property slump.Britain's biggest mortgage broker, Charcol, has seen a rise of more than 50 per cent in the number of purchasers dropping out in the last six months alone, while Mike Hewson, a partner at Ibbett Mosely estate agents also reported that four in ten deals are falling through because fears about a market crash, compared with 22 per cent last October.Mr Hewson said: "It is all about price. People are agreeing to buy but coming back and saying they have changed their minds. We try to negotiate a lower price and sometimes that works. But sometimes they change their minds a second time."Jeremy Leaf, a spokesman for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, told the Telegraph: "Six months or a year ago, roughly 80 per cent of deals went through, but that figure has fallen to typically 60 per cent. "People have become worried about price levels and are afraid that if they go ahead today, the property will be worth less in a few months' time."

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