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Jargon and Complexity put people off moving home - Zoopla

The jargon and complicated house moving process is deterring as many as 2.2m owners from entering the market, claims Zoopla. 

The portal spoke with 2,055 UK adults at the end of last month - which it says was a nationally representative sample - and discovered that 43% who don’t own a home say they do not feel confident in their knowledge of the home-buying process, and 27% said this has stopped them from buying a home.

Some 20% say they cannot confidently describe a mortgage. In fact, 9% say they do not understand any of 25 key terms relating to home-buying.


Despite mortgage rates being top of the news agenda for months a quarter (24%) of UK adults overall could not accurately identify the difference between a fixed rate, interest only and an offset mortgage - and just 43% could correctly identify an interest-only mortgage.

‘Gazundering’ is revealed to be the least-known term (10% know it), followed by ‘disbursements’ (15%), ‘buying schemes’ (17%) and ‘covenant’ (17%). Over half (54%) of UK adults are unable to describe words like ‘completion’, ‘lease’ (54%), and ‘stamp duty’ (55%).

A fifth of UK adults (18%) also incorrectly believe you can never avoid paying stamp duty - when in fact in England it only applies to homes worth over £250,000, rising to £425,000 for first time buyers on homes costing up to £625,000. 

Some 90% couldn’t confidently describe more than half of the first time buyers schemes available.

Whether or not someone's parent owns a property or not also plays a key role in getting on to the ladder. For example, those whose parents are not home-owners are twice as likely to admit they don’t know what a fixed rate mortgage is (14%) than those whose parents do own a home (6%). 

A full 82% who own a home admit to finding the process complicated and hard, with less than one in five saying they felt confident throughout (18%). 

A Zoopla spokesperson says: “The research shows that many UK adults - including those who already own a home - have a significant lack of knowledge when it comes to what even the most basic and commonplace home-buying terms mean. It’s usually presumed that finances are the reason someone doesn’t own their own home, but the figures show that for millions of people, it could also be a lack of knowledge that is holding them back.”

  • Kieran Ryan

    It's not the jargon & complexity thats putting people off moving home, its the ridiculas scale of the SDLT costs that is the main problem, especialy in London. This process needs to be completely overhauled.

  • icon

    Lord help us!


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