One in five Aussies would rather give up social media for a month than enter the housing market

Emma Duffy By on October 16, 2019
 

Photo by Jacob Lund via Adobe Stock

Searching for a new home is taking a toll on Aussie home buyers, with more than half saying it has affected their mental and emotional wellbeing, new research from Allianz reveals.

While the ‘Great Australian Dream’ is to own property, the process has Aussies feeling the strain.

Allianz surveyed over 1,000 Australians between 25-55 who have either bought a home in the last five years or plan on buying one in the next 12 months.

Just over half of those surveyed said they found the property search stressful.

A similar proportion (55%) said they would rather stay in their current home longer to avoid the stress. Almost one in five said they would rather give up social media for a month than enter the housing market because it was too stressful.

The study also shed light on some of the common grievances among home buyers. About one in eight buyers said they wished they had a more realistic view about the properties available within their budget and how long the process would take.

A fifth said they wished they knew more about mortgage insurance, while 11.3% wished they were better informed about moving costs. Nine per cent wished they were more clued up on the cost of stamp duty.

Rachael Poole, General Manager of Home and Lifestyle at Allianz Australia said home buyers could reduce the stress by being better educated.

“To help manage the stress, many homeowners tell us they wished they had known more about the additional costs involved in buying a house and had a better understanding of what was realistic for their budget, from the outset. Bearing this in mind, prospective buyers can reduce potential stress by better understanding the end-to-end costs of purchasing a property and what they are willing to compromise on,” Ms Poole said.

“Although the ‘Australian dream’ of owning a home is a primary driver of property sales, we know that buying a home is one of the most stressful life events. While this stress is understandable, know that it should be reasonably short-lived, with half of people purchasing their home within six months of beginning their search for a home.”

To help manage the stress of buying a home, over 40% of Aussies are talking to family and friends, while just over a quarter (25.5%) are re-adjusting their expectations.

Dr Sarah McKay, Allianz’s Wellbeing Advocate, said this was a positive start on the part of home buyers looking for coping strategies as our brains are wired to make emotional connections.

“We are social creatures, so connecting with family and friends throughout the buying journey can help alleviate stress. When we spend time with friends and loved ones, the bonding hormone oxytocin is released in our brain. Oxytocin not only makes us feel good, but it also counteracts the effects of the stress hormone cortisol,” Dr Sarah said.

“Buying a home represents more than a roof over our head. Our homes protect us, keep our family safe, comfortable and together and tap into our basic human need for security. With all of this at stake, it’s not surprising that buying a home can be stressful.”

Nearly a third of those surveyed ranked buying their first home as being the top motivator for buying or moving house, followed by needing more space (16%) and a change in lifestyle needs (13%.

Just under half (48.2%) of people found and purchased their home in six months, while 18% found their home in less than three months.

Most people who had bought a property (78%) said they were happy with their purchase.

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Emma Duffy
Emma Duffy joined Savings.com.au as a Finance Journalist in 2019 after spending a year as the editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's most passionate about improving the financial literacy of millennials by writing about complex financial topics in a way that's easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to understand.

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