Our latest research has looked at the time taken by UK home buyers when deciding to buy a home and how this has changed since the Brexit vote.
Prior to the vote in January 2016, we found the average UK home buyer took 53 minutes during the viewing process to decide if a house was the one for them, with the majority (53%) deciding after two viewings.
With current market conditions plagued by uncertainty as a Brexit deal is yet to be secured, our latest survey of 1,000 UK home buyers found that they are now taking 23% longer when viewing before committing to a sale.
Quickest: Scotland (mins)
It takes UK homebuyers 65 minutes on average to buy a home
UK home buyers are now taking 65 minutes before submitting an offer in order to buy a home, spending 27 minutes during each viewing and returning for an average of 2.4 viewings.
But where takes the longest and shortest amount of time across the UK to view before deciding to buy a home?
Northern Ireland is home to the longest time to buy at 78 minutes, followed by the North West (77 minutes) and East Anglia (70 minutes). Scotland is home to the shortest time and is the only region where buyers decide in less than an hour at 55 minutes. Despite London being worst hit by Brexit uncertainty a restriction in the number of homes available is still seeing viewers submit an offer in 62 minutes, the third fastest of all regions.
How many viewings would you make before submitting an offer?
While the majority, 56%, still take just two viewings before submitting an offer, 27% of those asked viewed 3 times, 8% returned for a fourth and just 1% needed more than four viewings. Surprisingly, 7% of those asked would submit an offer after just one viewing.
Less than 5
How much time would you spend when viewing a property?
The sweet spot when viewing is 21-30 minutes with 39% of home buyers taking this long. 24% take slightly less time at 11-20 minutes, with a similar number (20%) taking between 31-40 minutes. 5% of those asked whizz round in five to 10 minutes, with similar numbers taking 41-50 minutes (7%) and 51-59 minutes. Just 1% of viewers would take longer than an hour at a property.
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.Russell Quirk