Almost half of sales fall through within the first four weeks of an offer being accepted, new research claims.

Data from a Post Office Money report found that 44% of sales fall through within four weeks of an offer being agreed – the figure is far higher than those usually quoted, normally on a scale between 25% and 33%

The analysis also found that sellers are waiting more than 100 days for their properties to sell.

Analysis of listings data on by Post Office Money – based on  when a property is advertised for sale and until it is listed as under offer, or sold subject to contract, sold or removed – found it takes 102 days to sell on average.

The figure, based on activity in the 90 days to last month, is seven days longer than in the same period of 2017.

The data forms part of the lender’s Rate of Sale report, developed with the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The study says 35% of sales fall through in the first three weeks when searches take place.

Altogether, 44% of sales fall through within four weeks, when there have been surveys.

Ross Hunter, a spokesman for Post Office Money, said: “Properties are taking slightly longer to sell but this doesn’t mean that interest in moving up the housing ladder is waning.

“At Post Office Money, for instance, we have continued to see a rise in mortgage applications and approvals in the last year.

“First-time buyers have actually increased by 12% across the market in the last year alone, encouraged by the reduction made to Stamp Duty costs and mortgage innovation.”

Steve Dawkins, of Gazeal, added: “Most people know that getting an offer on your home is only the first hurdle in the process of selling your property.

“As the market has remained competitive, the trend for gazundering and gazumping is rife – where previously agreed offers are later broken by one of the parties involved.

“This has left 65% of all buyers and sellers worried about whether they will make it to completion following an offer being accepted.”