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Almost half of homeowners say they will never move again

Almost half (45%) of UK buyers found the process so frustrating that they’ve been put off the idea of ever moving home again, research from property platform WiggyWam has shown.

Some 24% of those buyers say that, while the experience has put them off the idea of moving again, they are likely to have to do so at some point in the future due to personal and lifestyle circumstances. 21%, however, say they will never move again.

With an average of one million property transactions a year, 45% accounts for 450,000 potential homebuyers who have been put off re-entering the market again, and 210,000 who refuse outright to engage any further with the open market.


This is despite 47% of buyers saying that the buying and moving experience was just as they had expected it to be, suggesting that the housing market has a less-than-great reputation among the general public.

Additionally, 20% say the experience of buying and moving was better than they were expecting, while 33% say it was explicitly worse.

When asked what aspects of the experience were most frustrating, 33% cited the time it took to complete the move, 22% said it was dealing with conveyancers and solicitors, and 10% said being unable to find the right home was the most frustrating part.

Only 8% cited ‘additional costs’ as the most off-putting aspect. Meanwhile, just 7% said their estate agent was the most frustrating part of the process.

Silas J. Lees, chief executive officer of WiggyWam, says the entire buying process can be drawn out and convoluted, which can have a negative impact on people’s lives.

He comments: “We should no longer accept a sales process that is akin to putting clients through a mangle and then charging them for the privilege. This is why we lose 1-in-5 potential buyers every year.”

“And this goes hand-in-glove with the clear fact that movers care little for the taxes, duties, and fees attached to the moving process; something which we in the industry spend so much time fretting over. Buyers and sellers are willing to pay for premium service, to remove stress and tribulation.”

“Another very real cost of elongated timelines that we’re seeing in this period of extraordinary demand is the negative impact delays have on estate agents and their reputation. They do everything they can to keep a deal together, only for things outside of their control to cause unnecessary delays! Frankly, this isn’t fair. Agents deserve more,” he concludes.

  • Mike  Stainsby

    This report is unsurprising given the unique set of circumstances that we have (and are) going through. COVID, working from home, furlough, lock downs, SDLT holiday etc have all exacerbated the tinder box that is trying to move home in the UK. we hover around a 34% fall through rate, year in, year out and need to make practical changes to alleviate the selling pinch points. Scotland 'enjoys' fall through rates of around 11% far less stress, wastage and tension. We advocate up front data for sellers to make the process transparent and far quicker. Sellers should complete ID/AML and fill in Legal Protocol forms immediately the board goes up in the garden and then place an order for their Searches. A sale ready buyer will show commitment to sell and be very attractive to motivated buyers. Property Searches Direct make this a reality for Estate Agents that are prepared to step up and make their service more collaborative. It is NOT a subscription model and gives comfort to home movers that can control much of their destiny without legal intervention in the first few crucial weeks.


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