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Drawn-out home buying process is the number one stress factor for movers

Written by: Anna Sagar
Nine in 10 recent property buyers said they found the process of moving home stressful, as they experienced delays, lack of certainty and long waits for exchange and completion.

Smoove’s home mover report, which surveyed 1,000 people who bought in the last six to 24 months, revealed that 40% found the length of time taken to be completely frustrating.

A third said the lack of certainty and the wait for exchange and completion dates to be finalised were the “main sources of anxiety”.

The report noted that the average amount of time between instruction and completion was five months, or 153 days.

More expensive than expected

Almost two thirds of movers said that moving home had been more expensive than they had expected.

Aside from deposit, stamp duty and estate agency fees, the biggest costs cited were solicitor fees followed by buying new furniture.

Nearly a third said that mortgage product fees were one of the biggest costs they faced.

Two thirds of people use savings and over a third rely on equity raised from selling their current property.

Approximately a fifth said they needed to use the Bank of Mum and Dad.

The stress of home moving means that over half said they were unlikely to move again in the next five years.

Moving process discourages buyers

Smoove said the current home moving process discourages people from moving frequently, which could lead them to stay in homes that are “unsuitable” in later life.

Simon McCulloch, Smoove’s chief commercial and growth officer, said: “The lack of transparency, complicated paperwork, vague timings, and unpredictable costs create a highly stressful experience for people looking to buy a home.

“The complexity and inefficiency of the current system has rightly put many off moving again, which has served to obstruct mobility and impede market dynamism.”

He added that the “shortcomings of the moving process” are noticeable during the Christmas and New Year period, which is when people may think about moving home or buying property.

Meanwhile, Smoove added that over a third of property transactions had fallen through in the year to July 2022.

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