UK buyers are taking 23 per cent longer – 65 minutes – to view homes before making a purchase, according to research by Emoov.co.uk.
Prior to January 2016, the average UK home buyer spent 53 minutes viewing properties and tended to look at two homes before deciding. Now buyers, on average, view 2.4 properties before making the decision and spend over one hour on the viewing process.
Emoov links the increased viewing time to a rise in uncertainty in the housing market following the Brexit vote.
The company’s research of 1,000 UK homebuyers found Scotland to be the only region where people now take under one hour to view before buying, at 55 minutes, whereas those in Northern Ireland spent the most time viewing, taking 78 minutes on average.
Emoov also found that 56 per cent of potential buyers view two places before making an offer on a property, that 27 per cent of respondents made three viewings, 8 per cent made four and 1 per cent needed more than four viewings.
Most, 39 per cent, of UK home buyers take Emoov’s recommended 21 – 30 minutes viewing time for each property, 24 per cent take between 11 and 20 minutes and 20 per cent take between 31 and 40 minutes. Only 1 per cent would spend over an hour viewing somewhere and very few, 5 per cent, spend between five and ten minutes viewing a property. The remaining 7 per cent linger for 41 to 50 minutes before making an offer on a home.
Emoov.co.uk, founder and chief executive, Russell Quirk, says that the increased overall viewing time reflects a slowdown in the market: “While the UK property market remains broadly stable, a slowdown in the time taken during the viewing process echoes trends in other stages of the selling process, such as an increase in the time houses are remaining on the property portals, a slowdown in the rate of price growth and a marginal fall in the number of transactions.
“There is still an imbalance in the stock available to meet demand but, with many buyers treading cautiously, there isn’t the urgency to submit an offer that we’ve seen in previous years. As a result, many are understandably taking that little while longer to ensure it’s the right house for them before making a commitment and this has pushed up the average time to buy since the Brexit vote,” he adds.