Online estate agency easyProperty has brought in a veteran psychology expert to look at the stress of buying a home - and has found that those seeking to purchase in London have 62 per cent more stress than the rest of the nation’s buyers.
A study of 1,000 UK adults, examining their moods and emotions during the process of finding a home, found that London residents are 20 per cent more likely to have to attend an open or group viewing - considered to be one the most stressful experiences in the home hunting process.
Some 60% per cent of London buyers have attended an open viewing and of those who did, 73 per cent said they found it stressful - and 16 per cent compared the stress of open viewings to that suffered during a minor medical procedure or a potentially-painful visit to a dentist, because of the competitive nature of the capital’s market.
Psychology professor Sir Cary Cooper, cited in a statement from easyProperty, says block viewings drive competitive behaviour in people, increasing the overall stress levels.
"Block viewings can add to the stress and even drive competitive behaviours. Competition for resources and territory in humans is natural and informs a lot of behaviour. But equally, tensions do arise when people are in cramped spaces. House viewings with multiple interested parties could be just as stressful due to these cramped conditions” he says.
The easyProperty survey also found that London buyers were the most likely to try to curry favour with an estate agent to improve their chances of securing the home they want.
Overall, people looking for a home in London rated the process as 62 per cent more stressful than the national average.
More generally, 14 per cent of respondents said looking for a home was as stressful as being late for work - but only 11 per cent thought it as challenging as going on a date.