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House prices: Do you spend longer buying a house or watching Coronation Street?



FTSE 100 housebuilder blames estate agents for putting too much pressure on first-time buyers to make an offer

We soend longer glued to an episode of Coronation Street than making the commitment to buy a house. Photo: Rex Features

British homeowners spend longer watching an episode of Coronation Street or choosing a new pair of jeans than deliberating over a new house, according to a consumer survey by housebuilder, Barratt Homes.

Despite the fact purchasing a home is the most expensive life investment made, with an average house price of around 250,000 in the UK, prospective buyers spend 25 minutes viewing a property before making a snap decision, the report found.

More than one in eight people surveyed decided to buy their home before they had even viewed it - using property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla - while one in five made up their mind to purchase the place within 10 minutes or less.

The decision to buy a home is worth 9,804 a minute.

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Homes, said there is too much pressure on first time buyers to put in an offer and then rush the sale through.

"There is a shortage of properties, especially in London," he said. "And when it comes to second hand homes estate agents put a lot of pressure on - I know from my own experience of dealing with Foxtons when my daughter bought her first home."

"Our research shows how little time people are spending on buying their biggest ever purchase, and may then regret it."

Mr Clare ran through a to do list of checks that new buyers must follow before making their decision, including running costs of the home, maintenance costs - especially if it is old, and existing appliances that are sold with the property.

The boss of the FTSE 100 company continued, there is still an urgency to get on the ladder, although this has calmed following the frenetic demand seen over the last year, and a credit culture which means people are too comfortable with signing up to such a long term financial commitment.

Supply was the main issue in forcing people to buy too quickly, he said, as there is not enough choice for those wanting to get on the property ladder.

"Construction is only just keeping up with demand," he said.

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