Property obsession – Singapore ranks at #5 in global survey

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) – Singapore’s property obsession saw residents spending 3.29 hours on property viewing. Their level of property obsession is higher than in the UK with 2.65 hours and Australia with 2.51 hours. Only the United Arab Emirates, US, Taiwan and Mexico, in that order, spend the most time viewing property in a week.

property obsession

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The online survey conducted by Toluna for HSBC polled 11,932 adults over 21 years of age yo arrive on their conclusion about property obsession in the different markets. The survey noted that a “culture of property obsession” across the globe, with adults spending an average of 3.5 hours a week trawling online listings, ‘window shopping’ for homes and reading property magazines.

The average person in the emirates spends 6.6 hours viewing property weekly, while the average American clocks in 4.95 hours. Those living in Taiwan average 4.54 hours a week on property research, followed by those in Mexico with 3.56 hours.

The survey on property obsession noted that for perspective, the average person in Australia spends just 1.08 hours at the gym and 0.88 of an hour talking to parents every week.

The survey showed that home buyers are “taking their passion for the perfect home to the extreme,” said Alice Del Vecchio, head of mortgages for HSBC Australia.

“An industry of property magazines, TV programs and websites is making it harder than ever to have realistic expectations about what you can afford – with many Aussies putting off important life stages, like having children, in the quest to afford the perfect property,” she said in a statement.

In contrast, Canada and France spend relatively less time on property obsession. Their research for property clocked in at 2.08 hours and 1.74 hours, respectively.

Six per cent of respondents were “extreme house hunters”, spending over seven hours on property research per week, the survey said. Adding that the majority of extreme house hunters believed that spending hours on property research per week is beneficial.  79 per cent of survey respondents said that they feel “in control” as homeowners, with 74 per cent saying they feel “relaxed” on acquiring a property. 49 per cent of “extreme house hunters” also admitted to checking their home’s value monthly.

The survey also revealed that extreme house hunters were “more likely to delay important life stages” just to save enough for the “perfect home”, and that about 19 per cent in this group are willing to hold off on having children so that they could buy a property. 38 per cent of the HSBC survey respondents acknowledge that their property purchase decision was “based purely on their first impressions” and “often impulsive”.

Another HSBC survey conducted in June last year, said millennials (those aged between 21 and 36 years of age) are the most likely in Singapore to be the owner of multiple homes, as well as the quickest to save for housing deposits. 54 per cent of those surveyed in this age group were homeowners, and 24 per cent from this group owned multiple homes.

In comparison, only 17 per cent of baby boomers (those aged 54 and above), and 19 per cent of Gen X (those aged between 37 – 53 years old) owned multiple homes.

HSBC Bank Singapore retail banking and wealth management head Anurag Mathur said then that, the “research bucks the stereotypes of Millennials being paycheck spenders and short-term planners.” And that, “instead, what the research reveals is a very clear focus on future proofing and investing.”

Of the prospective home buyers that were surveyed, 43 per cent of millennials said that they expect to own multiple homes in the future. 74 per cent from this group also said that they intended to use their second home for investment purposes or to rent out.

The survey said that almost half (47 per cent) of all millennials here check the prices of their homes at least once a year, with the intention of switching their mortgage or home loan provider. This is more often than any other age group.

Millennials further proved that they were more focused and astute as savers as it took this generation of homeowners an average of 5 years to save for their home deposits. The baby-boomers and Gen X took 6 and 7 years respectively to save for the same purpose.

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