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News: Buyers in a flap over frenetic market

Fri, 04 Jan 08

Rushed Brits spend more time choosing curtains than selecting their house, according to ING Direct...

Research from ING Direct shows that the average homebuyer spends just 17 minutes looking at their property before deciding that it's the home for them – less time than they take to pick out new curtains (54 minutes), a new outfit (one hour), book a holiday (two hours), or do the weekend grocery shop (45 minutes).

Buyer anxieties seem to be the main reason for this rush, with half believing the house would be snapped up if they didn't make a quick decision (49 per cent). Gut instinct is also a driving force, with a third of buyers (38 per cent) saying they ‘knew' within five minutes that they'd found their future home.

This hurry to buy comes at a time when the housing market is at its busiest for many years. Over £177 billion in mortgage advances were made in the UK in the first six months of this year1. This high level of activity may be fueling buyers' haste, as a third say they made a quick decision because of the shortage of good housing following this boom.

Snap decisions

The rush to snap up the perfect home is made more urgent by pressure from family and friends, the difficulties of securing a second viewing and the feeling that getting on the housing ladder is too important to delay. As a result, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of new home buyers say they end up regretting their haste.

The ING Direct research also finds that buyers are being encouraged by estate agents to make a quick decision, with one in four (22 per cent) saying they believe that their estate agent ‘talked up' interest from other parties.

Commenting on the research, ING Direct CEO Lindsay Sinclair said: "The pace of today's housing market puts a huge amount of stress on buyers and our research shows this can lead to snap decisions being when choosing a new home."

"Mortgage providers can ease the stress levels associated with moving home by providing, simple straightforward and quick to arrange mortgages."

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