Are you addicted to property porn?

Melanie Wright
Written by: Melanie Wright
Posted on: 18 May 2016

Research from Direct Line has revealed that 63% of Brits peruse property websites without any intention of buying, and around 2.6 million browse at least once a day.

People living in Sheffield are the most addicted to 'property porn' according to the research, with three-quarters of those living in the city admitting to browsing the internet for homes. Londoners and people living in Newcastle are similarly obsessed, with over 70% for both cities regularly trawling the internet for properties.

The prospect of stumbling across their 'dream home' isn't the only motivating factor for those who love searching property websites. More than half (52%) admit to logging onto property sites to check the price of neighbours’ homes, followed by 38% who want to know how much family members have paid for theirs. One in 10 Brits use property sites to find out how much new partners and ex-lovers spent on their properties.

Many swot up on local house prices for an idea of how the property market is performing, but more than a third of those who can’t get enough of property porn admit the main reason they like browsing the internet is to fantasise about dream homes.

According to property website Zoopla, the value of the 10 most viewed homes earlier this year totaled £75m, with most of them having six or more bedrooms, as well as swimming pools, greenhouses or a conservatory.

The average price of a property in the UK is currently £200,251, according to Nationwide Building Society’s latest house price index.

A third of people admit the main reason they like browsing the internet is to fantasise about dream homes

Unfortunately, some people browse property websites for more sinister reasons, with internal property pictures often providing burglars with a view of any rich-pickings that might be available. As a result, if you are planning on marketing your property online, it's a good idea not to leave your most valuable items clearly on display.

A commonsense approach to the images used is important - ask your estate agent to avoid pictures that show expensive personal possessions or personal information and don't display the full address. If you are selling your home on a property website, make sure it’s protected with a fully comprehensive home insurance policy.

You should also brush up on your home security, so that if burglars are tempted to break-in, your property is as secure as it possibly can be. Recent research by security provider RISCO found that less than a third of British homes are protected by a burglar alarm. More than one in 10 homeowners who do have an alarm admit to rarely or never setting it because they find it too complicated.

Anna Royds, spokesman for RISCO, says: "Householders should be aware that not switching their burglar alarm on can affect their home insurance, potentially leaving them without cover in the event of a burglary."

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