Belfast Telegraph

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Half buy new home using 'traditional' methods rather than on apps or websites

Published 01/09/2016

Buyers look out for For Sale signs
Buyers look out for For Sale signs

Around half of house buyers end up finding their property through "traditional" methods such as spotting a for sale sign or browsing an estate agent's window - despite the growth in house-hunting apps and websites, research suggests.

Some 55% of homeowners who bought their property within the last two years said they had found it this way, including seeing an ad in a local paper, finding it at an auction, or hearing about it from friends, family or neighbours.

Another 45% of people found their property on a website or through an electronic alert such as a notification from an app, the research from Which? Mortgage Advisers found.

Just over one in 10 (11%) people surveyed had found the home they went on to buy after seeing its details in an estate agent's window, while a similar number had seen a sign outside their property advertising it for sale.

And 6% had found their home after seeing it advertised in a local newspaper.

Meanwhile, 9% had found their home through word of mouth, while 1%, perhaps inspired by shows such as the BBC's Homes Under The Hammer, had found their property at an auction.

David Blake, principal adviser at Which? Mortgage Advisers, said: "Despite the rise in online property portals, it seems many of us are still traditionalists when it comes to finding a property."

He said that while apps and websites are a good place to start a property search, speaking to a local expert can also help house hunters to get a feel for the house and the area.

Some 2,000 home owners who had bought the property they lived in within the last two years took part in the survey.

Here are the traditional methods which home owners said they used to find the property they ended up buying, followed by the percentage who said they found their property this way:

:: Estate agent's window, 11%

:: Phone call or email from estate agent, 11%

:: For sale sign outside property, 10%

:: Word of mouth, 9%

:: Local newspaper, 6%

:: Other traditional method, 4%

:: I approached the property owner directly (such as by leafleting), 3%

:: Property auction, 1%

Here are the percentages of homeowners who found their home through more hi-tech methods:

:: Searching a property portal, 37%

:: Email from a property portal, 6%

:: Other electronic alert, such as an app notification, 2%

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