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Look out buyers and make way for … ‘dream searchers’

Every day, more than 6.5 million Brits are ‘dream searching’ for their perfect property but only one third are in the financial position to buy, new research from Strata Homes has found.

With the nation full of eager prospective buyers striving for perfection, one third of people admitted that the majority of the properties they search for are out of budget, while 44% who have no intention of moving in the next 12 months felt the need to get involved.

The Strata Homes report, titled ‘Dream Searching and Property Addicts’, coins the term ‘dream searcher’ as someone who actively searches for properties out of their budget when not in the market to move.

One in five dream searchers would call themselves a property addict, with the majority (61%) doing it because they genuinely enjoy searching for their dream property. One third of people do so as motivation to work harder and save money, while 30% are envious of what other people own.

Some 43% of the dream search population are currently saving but not yet in a position to purchase a home, with some 22% of this group looking to purchase in the next year. A further 21%, though, believe it will take much longer than a year before they are able to purchase.

The length of time people spend actively searching varies. Some dream searchers check properties at least once a week (50%), and others spend up to 30 minutes at a time browsing property pages and apps (70%). Some 27% spend between 30 minutes and an hour.

Those aged 55 and over are most likely to spend the least amount of time searching (30 minutes), while more than one in ten aged 25-54 spend between 45 and 60 minutes. People aged 45-54, however, are guiltier than most, spending between 30 minutes and two hours each time, closely followed by 35-44 year olds.

Rightmove and Zoopla were the main property apps for dream searchers, closely followed by Purplebricks and Property Pal.

The research also found that more than half of these property addicts and dream searchers consider house hunting a hobby. For those in the 16-24 and 25-34 age groups, this rose to more than 60% in total (66% and 63% respectively).

Interestingly, men weren’t too far behind women, with more than half investing time in their property addiction and 42% of those classing it as a hobby. Women, on the other hand, lead the trend with 66% suggesting they dream search on a regular basis and 57% claiming it as a hobby.

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