One in Five British Homeowners Buy New Property Prior To Selling Their Existing Home

Following a recent increase in searches for unoccupied property insurance through its website, a non-standard insurance specialist has revealed that as many as one in five British homeowners who sold a property within the last year made the decision to find and purchase a new home prior to putting their existing property on the market.


The dilemma of whether it’s more advantageous to purchase a new home before putting an existing property on the market is a tough one, particularly if that means buildings are going to be left unoccupied for a substantial period of time before being purchased by a new buyer.


As part of a new study, the team at polled 2,847 adults aged 25 and over, all of whom had sold an existing property and purchased a new one within the past twelve months. All those taking part were split evenly across each of the UK regions and were questioned on how they went about the process of their most recent house move.


All respondents were asked if they put their previous home on the market before or after putting an offer in for the property that they now lived in. The majority (79%) stated that they waited to make any offers on new properties until they’d accepted an offer from a buyer, whilst the remaining 21% revealed that they’d given themselves the chance to search for and have an offer accepted on their ideal next home before putting their previous home on the market.


More than two fifths (41%) of participants that had waited to make any offers until they’d sold their property admitted to researchers that they wished they’d done things the other way around, as they felt rushed into selling their home. A further 28% believed that they would’ve been able to make a bigger profit and sell their previous property for a higher sum had they waited to put their home on the market after securing their new home.


Of the respondents that purchased a new home before putting their original property on the market, 17% admitted to researchers that they’d needed to leave their previous home empty and unoccupied after moving into their next home, and whilst awaiting a sale to go through. Despite this, just 21% took out an unoccupied insurance policy for this period.


Finally, in order to uncover the breakdown of how homeowners go about selling their properties in different areas of the UK, researchers analysed answers to reveal which region is the most likely to buy a new property prior to selling their existing home, with the answers as follows:


  • London  – 28% (% of respondents from this region that purchased a new property prior to putting their existing home on the market)
  • 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%

Rob Rushton, Head of said:


“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 perfectly fits them and their family.


“Here at CoverBuilder, 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. In fact, 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.”

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