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Browsing Property Websites is a Popular Pastime

As many as 63% of people in Britain admit to ‘window shopping’ online for homes that they have no intention of purchasing, according to a new study by Direct Line.

A further 2.6 million self-confessed ‘property addicts’ say they browse online property sites at least once a day to keep a check on prices, design trends and daydream about their future home.

Window shopping is only the beginning however, as 38%, equal to more than 19 million people, admit to using an online property site in the last year to check the price of someone else’s home.

Neighbour’s homes were the most commonly cited (52% of property snoopers) followed by family members (38%), close friends (31%) and colleagues (21%). Potential new partners (10%) and ex-lovers (9%) were also amongst the most popular.

The motivations for keeping such a close eye on property websites apparently range from nosiness to fantasy. Around 60% of those who browse do so to keep a check on local property prices, whilst 40% are swatting up on future potential areas to live. Daydreaming about homes they can’t afford drives more than a third (34%) to property sites, whilst interior design inspiration (29%) and checking the value of their own home (26%) were also key motivations.

Those aged 18 – 34 were more likely to use property sites to window shop and snoop than any other age ranges. In fact, 8% of all 18 – 34s admit to checking the price of a potential new partner’s home in the past year and 6% said their same about their ex.

“We are a nation of property obsessives with very good reason,” commented Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line Home Insurance. “Our homes are our castles and becoming a homeowner or even climbing the ladder in the UK is a huge challenge and aspiration for many.”

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