Gazumping is on the slide, according to new figures. The practice - where a seller accepts one offer and then ditches the original for a higher offer closer to the completion date - has long been the bane of home buyers' lives in England and Wales.
However, new research by online estate agent Emoov shows that the number of sellers gazumping their property has fallen in the last year.
Ultra-competitive property market
According to Emoov, a quarter of home buyers were gazumped in 2018, down from 36 percent in 2017.
However, London home buyers are not seeing any respite from the practice. In fact, two-thirds (66 percent) of home buyers have been gazumped in the capital in the last year.
That's a rise of 31 percent on the year, affecting thousands of home buyers in an ultra-competitive property market that can mean several buyers all competing for a single property, giving the seller the luxury of choosing a bigger offer should one come in.
Emoov also revealed that first-time buyers are the most likely to be gazumped - 58 percent of 25-34-year-olds and 41 percent of 35-44-year-olds admitted they had lost out on a property because of gazumping when quizzed.
Buyer appetite on the wane
Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of Emoov.co.uk, said: "Although market conditions remain tough, the good news at least is that gazumping has declined as a result.
"While we are still seeing a steady number of sales each month despite stock levels also remaining low, there isn't the overwhelming buyer appetite that we've seen in previous years.
"As a result, this reduction in competition is seeing fewer homeowners receive and opt for a last-minute higher offer, at the expense of their existing buyer.
"That said, the art of gazumping is still very prevalent across the capital where demand remains strong in numerous locations, despite the wider topline figures showing an overall slowdown."