For some it takes years of tireless searching, and there are whole sections of TV schedules based around it, but Aviva recently conducted some research that showed 24% of people choose to buy a house after only one viewing, which took 33 minutes on average. 4000 home-owners were surveyed, showing that the average length of time people spend viewing a potential property has decreased over the last twenty years, with people making quicker decisions, despite the money and debt at stake.
Some house hunting gurus would say that this is just evidence of ‘the feeling’ – a potential buyer knowing they’re in their perfect house as soon as they step through the front door – but for every guru there is a cynic who views this as further evidence the housing market is especially tough for first-time buyers, and limiting their choices.
It seems like there’s a news article every day lamenting the number of under-30s who are still living with their parents because they can’t afford to rent privately and save for a deposit at the same time, but thankfully the buyers’ market is set to improve as average house prices are slowly falling month on month, according to a survey by Nationwide, who have discovered that the average house price in Britain is now £188,949. Not only this but more and more houses are being built, as the UK construction industry has been shown to increase its activity for the 15th month in a row. Even the London property market, notorious for its high prices and the astonishing speed at which houses disappear from the market, is increasing in price at a much slower rate than previously forecast last March.
All of this is positive news for first-time buyers who feel like they’ll either never fly the nest or be renting for the rest of their lives, and will also be welcomed by Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, who expressed concern last month when speaking at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow. Carney said that “history shows that the British people do everything they can to pay their mortgage…if a lot of people are highly indebted, that could tip the economy into recession.”