Why viewing a house should really take you only about 10 seconds: Property news

The Home Front: A rundown of the latest property statistics

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The Independent Online

One in six home hunters says they take only 10 seconds to decide whether they like a property from the outside. Figures from Barclays Mortgages show a third of buyers make their decisions purely on a home's exterior and will not even bother to go inside if they are unimpressed, and nearly half would offer up to 20 per cent off a property's asking price if an exterior were unappealing. The top exterior features that buyers look for are a well-manicured garden followed by double glazing. Overall, new-builds were named the favourite property type, followed by Victorian and then Georgian houses. The report shows that the most favoured front doors were either white or black rather than more garish colours. The biggest turn-off was spotting vermin control nearby…

Buying vs renting

First-time buyers in the UK are on average £865 a year better off with their own home compared with renters, according to Lloyds Bank. The average monthly buying cost (including mortgage payments and household maintenance) for a first-time buyer with a three-bedroom house is £672, around 10 per cent lower than renting the same property. This saving has jumped £105 over the past year and is more than double the saving in 2010. The only region bucking the trend is the South-east of England, where average monthly buying costs are £965, £65 higher than rental ones. Overall, the number of first-time buyers last year is estimated by Lloyds to be 310,000, similar to 2014's 311,700. The number of first-time buyers accounted for 46 per cent of all house purchases made with a mortgage in 2015, up from just over a third in 2007. 

Who owns a home?

Analysis by the independent Resolution Foundation think-tank indicates that people aged over 65 now account for a third of all home owners, up from less than a quarter in 1998. Meanwhile, just 10 per cent of home owners are aged 16-34, down from 19 per cent in 1998.

South-facing vs river views

A new study by Direct Line Home Insurance suggests that despite the traditional attraction of a south-facing garden, analysis of property asking prices reveals homes with south-facing gardens command just a 0.37 per cent premium compared to properties with north-facing ones. River views, however, offer a 9 per cent premium compared with identical properties. The research also indicates that if you live higher in a new development in many cities, you pay significantly more for the privilege. 

Million-pound properties

The number of UK properties worth at least £1m is expected to be at least three times higher by 2030, according to Santander Mortgages, at more than 1.6 million. In the next 15 years, a quarter of homes in London are expected to be valued at £1m or more, while only 7 per cent of homes in the South-east of England are expected to fetch £1m, and less than 1 per cent in the North-east, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North-west, Scotland and the East Midlands.

Mortgage repossession

Fewer than one in 1,000 mortgages ended in repossession in 2015, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. At 10,200, the total number of repossessions in 2015 was less than half the number in 2014, down from 20,900. 

Buying-process issues

More than six in 10 people believe the process of buying a home is too confusing, a poll from Tepilo reveals. Around a third said that it is simply far too expensive, and more than one in 10 worries about the risk of a sale falling through before exchange when they have already spent money on legal and survey fees. A third believe that sellers should be responsible for paying for the survey on the house they are selling. Top of the list of the most stressful elements of buying a home was “moving day”, closely followed by deciding how much to offer on a property.