Fast-paced lifestyles are becoming increasingly more common and taking less time over big decisions is now trickling into the property market, it is being suggested.
And now, housebuilder Barratt Homes says that buyers are spending more time watching their favourite shows Doctor Who and Downton Abbey, than viewing properties and deciding whether to purchase.
The organisation’s 21st Century Living: Heads, Hearts and Homes Report suggests that in the West Midlands, for example, homebuyers spend an average of just under 45 minutes viewing a property before making up their minds (some 15 minutes shorter than the average primetime showstopper on BBC or ITV).
Barratt Homes tried to found out what was causing prospective buyers to spend less time over the decision. Pressure from estate agents was cited by 27% of respondents, uncertainty over how to arrange a further viewing was the reason for 18% and 3% claimed simply to have a lack of time.
What’s more, 12% of home buyers in the West Midlands admit they made up their mind to buy their current property before they had even seen it in real life.
The report has been compiled by Barratt Homes with the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC), to gain further insight into the emotional and rational factors affecting property buying in the UK.
Kate Fox, Author of Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour, said: “Given the deep emotional importance of the house in society, there is something very interesting about the disproportionately short amount of time – if any at all – that prospective buyers spend in a house before making the decision to buy. When we enter a person’s home with the intention of buying it, it can seem strange and uncomfortable – like an imposition or invasion of privacy.”
John Fitzgerald of Barratt Homes Mercia added: “Purchasing a property, whether for the first time or the tenth time, is a major life investment. It’s really important for the buyer to be 100% happy and confident in their decision. But rushing this decision can and should be avoided.”