Property porn: millions trawl home websites without plans to buy

1st April 2016

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An Englishman’s home is his castle so it’s no surprise that 63% of Britons admit to trawling property websites even when they have no intention of buying.

 

As many as 2.6 million home obsessive browse property websites at least once a day, according to figures from Direct Line, as they keep up to day on prices, design trends and daydream about their future home.

 

Those living in Sheffield were the most enthusiastic window shoppers, with 74% of all adults admitting to window shopping for homes, followed by London at 72% and Newcastle at 70%.

 

Another 38%, or 19 million people, admit to using an online property site to check the price of someone else’s home, with 52% checking the price of their neighbour’s home, 38% checking the house price of a family member and 31% checking the price of a friend’s house.

 

The reason for property snooping are varied, ranging from nosiness to fantasy. Six in 10 who browse do it to check tabs on local property prices and 40% are swotting up on future potential areas to live.

 

Another third of people daydream about homes they can’t afford and three in 10 are looking for design inspiration.

 

Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: ‘We are a nation of property obsessives with very good reason. Our homes are our castles and becoming a homeowner or even climbing the ladder in the UK is a huge challenge and aspiration for many.

 

‘Property sites are a source of information and inspiration and browsing these sites has become something of a past-time for millions of people. The flip side of this trend is that those who list on these sites exhibit their homes and belongings to millions of strangers every day. A common-sense approach to the images they present is important – ask your estate agent to avoid images that show expensive personal possessions or personal information and don’t display the full address. If you are selling your home on a property website, make sure it is protected with a fully comprehensive home insurance policy.’

 

Those people aged 18 to 34 were more likely to use the sites to snoop than any other age range and 8% of all people in this group admit to checking the price of a potential new partner’s home in the past year and 6% did the same about their ex.

 

 

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