Nearly one in four home-buyers have entered into a bidding war to secure their chosen property, but those finding themselves in this situation are likely to end up losing out, a survey suggests.
Some 23% of people who have bought, or are in the process of buying, a house have found themselves embroiled in a bidding war, with other buyers upping their offers as they compete over a property.
But while 9% of Britons surveyed had entered a bidding war and won, a higher proportion of 14% entering a bidding war ended up seeing their desired home slip through their fingers as they found themselves out-bid.
The research, from Sarah Beeny's estate agent Tepilo, also found that nearly a fifth (19%) of people have had to pay over the asking price to secure a property, and a further 16% have been the victim of gazumping - where a buyer believes they have agreed a deal, only for someone else to come along and snap up the property.
Some 86% of the 2,000 people surveyed think the UK housing market is competitive and more than half (58%) believe property prices are too high.
Around a third (35%) also think there are too few houses for sale and too many people wanting to buy, with a further 35% believing it is too hard to get a mortgage.
The first-time buyer section of the market is also a concern for many, with more than a third (34%) believing it is currently too hard for first-time buyers to enter the market.
Beeny said: "Some competition is healthy and ensures prices remain buoyant, which is good news for existing owners.
"But for first-time buyers, it's becoming increasingly difficult to enter the market and this could cause real problems in the future as people who've already bought their first home will find it difficult to sell and move up the ladder."