Research by property legal website In-Deed suggested that thousands of sales had fallen through this year because home-owners decided to stay put.
A survey of 1,000 adults showed that one in four of sellers changed their mind because they could not find a suitable property themselves, while others got cold feet because of concerns about the state of the housing market.
Commenting on the findings, TV property expert Phil Spencer said: "In such a volatile market, it's not that surprising that many more sellers are changing their minds at the last minute, especially when there are so few suitable homes available."
In-Deed coined the phrase gazanging to describe how buyers were left "hanging".
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