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Length of time is the top stress factor for home movers

  • 04/01/2023
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Length of time is the top stress factor for home movers
The vast majority, 90 per cent, said they have found the process of moving home stressful pointing to the length of time, lack of certainty and wait for exchange and completion times.

Smoove’s home mover report, which surveyed 1,000 homeowners who bought another home in the last six to 24 months, found that 40 per cent of those surveyed found length of time taken to be completely frustrating.

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

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

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


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.


Financing and staying put

Around 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 that this showed 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.

McCulloch continued: “It is critical that we strive to foster greater certainty and efficiency throughout the home moving process by encouraging the adoption of digital technology across the industry.

“By enabling people to engage with the transaction process online, providing digital IDs, signatures, and form filling, and digitalising parts of the conveyancing process, we can modernise the industry and begin to eliminate the stress of moving home.”

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