UK buyers taking longer to make up their minds than a year ago

Property buyers in the UK are taking longer to make up their mind about a home with many taking a second or even a third viewing before making an offer, new research has found.

On average it now takes 53 minutes of viewing a property, up from 38 minutes a year ago, according to the research from online estate agent eMoov. Indeed, just 6% make an offer after the first viewing.

The majority of buyers, 53%, return for a second viewing, with a further 41% feeling the need to view a property more than twice. Buyers in London are more likely to seek a third viewing.

The research also suggests that buyers undertake a considerable amount of research before they view a property. Some 67% read the full property description before arranging to view and 59% look at other properties listed in the area.

It also found that 56% check out the road where the property is on Google street view, 53% take a detailed look at the floor plan and room sizes, 49% research the local amenities, 44% research the historic value of a property or surrounding properties and 25% check out schools.

‘UK buyers are taking that extra bit of time viewing a property, before submitting an offer. Although demand is still high in a number of areas, particularly London and the surrounding areas, the market isn’t quite as competitive as it has been in previous years, so many potential buyers are opting for a second or third viewing before committing to a property,’ said the firm’s chief executive officer Russell Quirk.

‘It makes sense given the enormity of such a decision and with buyers not feeling as pressured, there is no need to rush to submit an offer and secure a property after the first viewing,’ he added.

But he pointed out that the data shows that there are still those 6% of buyers that will view a property for less than 10 minutes, before deciding to buy it. ‘This still amazes me but highlights the speed the market can move at, in the areas where demand is still outstripping supply,’ said Quirk.

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