Homehunters need to see at least eight properties before deciding to buy: Property news roundup

Plus, selling times in Glasgow, and bridging finance figures

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The Independent Online

A third of homehunters take two to three months to choose their next home, says a new report, with more than half knowing they've found the right one during their first viewing.

The study from E.ON also shows that those looking to buy need to visit eight homes before plumping for one, with only eight per cent saying they would be happy to buy the first house they see.

Three per cent of buyers even say they feel they know the property is the 'right on' as soon as they are aware of it being on the market.

The survey of over 2,000 adults suggests that location ranks highest when making a property purchase with three quarters making it the key factor, followed by mortgage costs (56 per cent), size (53 per cent) and the amount of work needed on a property (40 per cent).

In terms of energy efficiency, over three-quarters of first time buyers say it's very important, while most people feel that a new build will be the most energy efficient type of property (85 per cent) and Edwardian homes least (two per cent).

Indeed, a separate report by Ocean Finance shows that one in eight people admit that their home lacks energy efficiency and has poor insulation. Of those who had invested in improvements, 79 per cent had installed double glazing, two thirds had put in loft insulation, and just over half had fitted a more efficient boiler.

Two thirds of those asked said that the best thing about owning a property is the long-term investment potential and the security of knowing you won't have to move unless you want to. A quarter also said that being able to get a pet was an important reasons to buy.

Selling homes in Glasgow

House prices in Glasgow and the west of Scotland rose by five per cent in the last three months while selling times fell by almost 20 per cent compared to this time last year, according to figures from the Glasgow Solicitors Property Centre. Properties are now selling faster than at any time since 2008.

The average number of days it takes to sell a home in the West of Scotland is now 73, less than half the time it took to sell a house in 2011

"Falling selling times, moderately rising prices and a rise in the number of homes being put up for sale are all welcome signs of an improving market," said GSPC Chief Executive, Mark Hordern. "But it’s important to put this recovery into context. House prices today in the west of Scotland are still, on average, 12 per cent below their peak.  And sales are still significantly below their long-term average.  It will take a good deal more improvement before we can say that the market has recovered."

Bridging finance

Help to Buy has provided less than half the funding for new homes in its first 14 months than alternative finance, according to West One Loans.

Its figures show that while the first phase of Help to Buy has delivered equity loans worth £941 million, over the same period, gross lending via the bridging loan industry has totalled £2.38 billion.

"New homes are the fundamental fuel of a healthy property market so the government and Bank of England are right to highlight the dangerous squeeze in the supply of property," said Duncan Kreeger, director of West One Loans.

"But there are other ways to supply new homes. We need to make far better use of the buildings we already have. Thousands of under-loved and under-occupied properties are still left waiting for refurbishment or conversion. Property developers and potential landlords just need the right sort of finance to get these empty offices or dilapidated blocks of flats to a decent standard and on the market. Flexibility is king and government schemes can only do so much."