It takes six months and 24 days to buy a home, new research has found

When all aspects of a buying a home, from searching online to moving in are taken into account it takes six months and 24 days, according to a new survey.

The lengthiest part of the process is exchanging contracts, which can take up to 25 months in some cases, but five months and 10 days on average, the poll for technology firm Matterport found.

It also found that potential buyers will look at more than 16 homes online across a period of just under 20 hours and around four days is spent waiting for viewings, with buyers on average taking a further four and a half days to put an offer on a home after its first inspection.

On average, adults view their future home three times before putting an offer down, and take three friends or family members with them to help make the decision, then once the purchase has been agreed, a further 24 days are needed to secure a mortgage offer, and three days to get a solicitor on board. After contracts are exchanged, keys are finally delivered around nine days later.

‘Buying a home can be one of the most exciting and most frustrating experiences of all.
While the idea of moving somewhere new is thrilling, the reality can be very different, especially when solicitors appear to be dragging their feet, chains break down and viewings take longer than expected to arrange,’ said James Morris-Manuel, EMEA vice president of Matterport.

‘Even viewing a home can be irritating. Having to fit in with the owner’s timing and requirements, not being close enough to view a property as often as you’d wish, and then wanting to revisit when a decision has been made,’ he added.

A quarter of those polled had made unsuccessful offers on a home, which made a long process even longer, especially for the 12% who put an unsuccessful offer on three or more homes.

London is the area in which it takes the longest to buy a house at an average of eight months.
This compares to a little over five months in Scotland and the North East.

Although 28% of respondents said they had no expectations of how long every step would take, almost one third said when they did buy a house, it took longer than they thought it would.

Typically, the expectation was that the whole process would take just under four months, with more than two in 10 thinking it would take less than two months altogether.

Even when the process is straight forward, buying a new home isn’t always easy. Three in 10 reported finding a property with everything they wanted as the most difficult aspect.

A fifth of buyers in the survey said choosing a property was the longest part of the process, with four in 10 taking over seven months to decide and liaising with solicitors and selling the current property also made the list of things that were difficult about buying a new home.

Time is a valuable commodity which led 14% of buyers to compromise on their ideal home when choosing a property. The most common compromise was on location, while room size and price followed closely behind. Lucky for them, once finally moved in almost half found their new home exactly as they expected it to be.

For the more unfortunate, the décor wasn’t as good as they remembered, some said it wasn’t as clean as they would like and 305 found that they were left with more DIY or renovations than they had anticipated.