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We Are a Nation of Dream Searchers

Whether it’s staring through an estate agent’s window or browsing the options on Rightmove, we can all recall occasionally indulging in a search for our dream home. However, the latest research suggests this activity might be even more than a national hobby – it’s almost an addiction. The majority of us are setting aside hours each month to house hunt, in many cases for properties that are clearly out of our budget. So, what’s really going on?

HOW OFTEN DO YOU LOOK FOR PROPERTIES?

Over 50% of all people 'dream search' at least once a week.
People aged 35-44 are most likely to spend time doing this.
More than one in ten people are 'dream searching' everyday.

According to our survey, one in ten Brits are searching for their perfect property every single day and over half of us admit to looking at least once a week. When broken down by age, 35 – 44 year olds were more likely to be hunting often, compared to their younger counterparts.

A national hobby

One in five people admit to being a property addict. That being said, we seem to be enjoying ourselves. More than half of us said that we considered house hunting a hobby, and the younger you are the more likely you are to think so, with a hefty 66% of 16-24 year olds agreeing. Women seem to enjoy it more, with 57% considering property searching a hobby compared to only 42% of men. Overall, women were more likely to be searching and 66% admitted doing so regularly.
 

PERCENTAGE OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO 'DREAM SEARCH' 

66% of women spend time 'dream searching' for their perfect property,
followed closely by 54% of men.

When we do indulge, more than one quarter of people (27%) take between 30 minutes and an hour. 25-34 year olds were most likely to admit taking nearly an hour, with one in ten doing so.
 

TIME SPENT 'DREAM SEARCHING'

One third of all age groups spend over 30 minutes dream searching,
except 55+'s who spend up to 30 minutes.

Are we a nation of dreamers?

But are these house hunters genuine, ready and realistic buyers? Perhaps not. Of those we spoke to, a third admitted they’re spending the majority of their search time looking at homes they know are out of their price range. Across the UK 43% of ‘dream searchers’ aren’t ready to buy yet, and this fell to 41% in London.
 

the proportion of properties that are out of budget

More than 50% of properties searched for are out of budget,
admitted more than one in three people.

We delved deeper to find out what’s really driving Britain’s dream searching epidemic. Of those who searched with no intention of moving, 61% told us they do it because they simply enjoy it, but this wasn’t the only motivator. A third said that doing so encourages them to work and save harder, pushing them to make that dream home a reality, while 30% admitted they’re just jealous of what other people own. It seems there’s genuine aspiration in ‘dream searching’ after all. Of those who are looking but aren’t ready to buy yet, more than half hope to do so in the next 12 months.
 

in what financial position
are uk 'dream searchers' in?

Almost one quarter (22%) of dream searchers are currently 
saving and want to purchase in the next 12 months.
 

With house hunting remaining a popular activity among all age groups, it seems the UK’s property addiction is here to stay. And regardless of whether we’ve already bought, or home ownership is but a long-term goal, our pursuit for that perfect property just doesn’t let up.

View our collection of new homes here.