New research from Emoov.co.uk has revealed that homebuyers are now taking an average of 65 minutes before submitting an offer on a property, after an average of 2.4 viewings that take 27 minutes each. This is a marked increase from the 53 minutes that homebuyers were taking in January 2016, prior to the EU referendum.
So, homebuyers across the UK are taking 23% longer to commit to a sale and are requesting more viewings. This is hardly surprising considering the current economic uncertainty and the enormity of such a decision. However, the survey also reveals that some homebuyers are more careful than others.
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According to its data, people in Northern Ireland take the longest to buy, at 78 minutes on average, followed by those in the North West, who take an average of 77 minutes, and homebuyers in East Anglia, who take 70 minutes. In contrast, those in Scotland take the shortest amount of time before making an offer (55 minutes), which may be surprising considering the latest Government statistics show that house prices in Scotland are higher than those in Northern Ireland (at £152,000 compared to £133,000 according to July's House Price Index).
Indeed, despite London still being the costliest region to buy a home in, viewers here are only taking 62 minutes to submit an offer, which could have something to do with the number of people vying for quality properties.
"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," Emoov.co.uk's Russell Quirk commented.
"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."
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Some homebuyers are now requesting three viewings or more as a result, with 27% asking to view the property three times, 8% returning for a fourth and 1% needing even more than that. When viewing, most take 21-30 minutes (39%), while 24% take a lesser 11-20 minutes and 20% take 31-40 minutes. A few (5%) are even done in five to 10 minutes; in contrast, 1% are taking more than an hour.
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