Property news roundup: How long does it take to find a new home?

Plus using your shed, house deposits drop, and unrealistic first time buyers

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The Independent Online

Nearly half of all homehunters spend two hours a day looking for a home on the internet, contacting estate agents and organising viewings.

The figures from online estate agency suggest that on average the process takes them a total of 62 hours per month over a four month period.

Around a third of people looking to move do their hunting during working hours, with 18 per cent admitting to making calls in the bathroom or under their desk.

What do you do in your shed?

Research from shed and log cabin business Dunster House reveals that sheds are more popular for hobbies and relaxing in, than their traditional use of storage, with over half of those surveyed using their shed as a dedicated hobby space or relaxing hideaway. Second most popular was using the shed for storage which 43 per cent of respondents did, with a remaining four per cent favouring sheds for their aesthetics as an addition to an attractive back garden.

Alex Murphy, Managing Director at Dunster House, said: "We all know that sheds have a practical use, but hadn’t realised so many people were using them as a bolthole from the stresses and strain of their everyday lives, either to grab a bit of peace and quiet, or to relax and enjoy their favourite hobbies."

Average house deposit at lowest level for a year 

Figures from the Mortgage Advice Bureau show that the average house purchase deposit fell by two per cent between February and March to £61,325, the lowest figure recorded in the last 12 months. It also means that the average homebuyer in March put up less of a deposit relative to the value of their purchase than at any point in the last five years.

First time buyers underestimate time to get on housing ladder

Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank's survey of first time buyers shows that two thirds hugely underestimate how long it will take to achieve their goal. Half said that it had actually taken  up to three years longer than they had anticipated to move in to their first home. Buyers in Scotland were most likely to have achieved their first home purchase within their timeline, with just under half saying it took as long or less time than they’d planned.

For a quarter of first time buyers it takes up to two years simply to put together their deposit, but a third said it took three years or more.