Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Urban Renewal & Housing Pat Casey TD has written to the Ministers for Justice to initiate a public consultation on “Gazumping”.

Gazumping refers to a sale agreed situation being abandoned when a higher bid is received regardless of how far advanced the sale process is. This leaves the prospective buyer out of pocket and without a new home.

Deputy Casey stated, “As property prices rise rapidly across the country gazumping is becoming increasingly frequent. This means young couples and other buyers are finding themselves being supplanted by a higher bidder weeks or even months after having gone sale agreed.

“In many cases they have spent money on engineer surveys and solicitor fees. At the very least they have invested time in a property, missing out on other opportunities. Fianna Fáil is committed to a housing market that is fair, quick, transparent and less stressful for all concerned. In a housing market, which is seeing prices rise rapidly, this is more important than ever.

“In the UK, data indicates that this practice occurs in some 15% of cases. If a similar situation applies in Ireland then that would means some 7,000 sales were affected in 2016. Given the 12.3% rise in property prices it creates greater opportunities for gazumping to occur leaving more young couples and aspiring homeowners in the lurch. We need to develop a fair framework that will address this issue without harming the property market.

“I have written to the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan to formally request a public consultation on the matter. This should be used to detail the scale and depth of the problem. It should also help inform practical policy solutions. For example, in Scotland the agreement is legally locked in at an earlier stage. We should review this to see if it’s viable in the Irish context.

“Fianna Fáil is committed to working with the Government to get this issue addressed as quickly as possible. The public consultation should be the first step in the process,” concluded Deputy Casey.