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More Aussies ‘in tears’ during house hunting

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Bianca Dabu 5 minute read

New research has found that nine out of 10 Australians find the process of house hunting more frustrating than exciting.

Shawood Homes’ The Great Australian Home Search survey, conducted by YouGov Galaxy in October 2020, has revealed that 88 per cent find the search for a home to be frustrating, and less than half (49 per cent) describe their experience as exciting. 

Further, more than half of Australian house hunters experience fights with their partners, with 43 per cent admitting they have shed tears while house hunting.

With the average home search taking seven months and including seven viewings or auctions, it can be a long and time-consuming process, with 38 per cent of people calling their home search “exhausting”. 


According to Scott Rudgley, executive sales manager at Shawood: “Buying a new home is an adventure, but as the property market has become more competitive, the experience has turned from excitement to stress and exhaustion.”

When it comes to searching for the dream home, people spend an average of four hours each week on their laptops and smartphones doing online research – that’s the estimated equivalent of spending more than 14 working days devoted entirely to online research (over the seven-month average search period).

Still, despite all this hard work, 45 per cent settle for something other than their dream home, with the most common compromises being location (39 per cent), home size (38 per cent), price (36 per cent), home design (36 per cent) and finishes/quality (34 per cent).

“We can’t change the market, but we can help reduce some of the frustrations in looking for ‘the one’... For one, we have so much information at our fingertips that we can often get stuck into a never-ending cycle of searching. Instead of helping us, this can often lead to more frustration. “

“Our research shows that those who find the house hunt most frustrating actually spend almost double the amount of time doing online research compared to those who don’t find the process frustrating. Sometimes, less is more! Try allocating a specific time for your research in front of the computer so you don’t end up down the rabbit hole and it doesn’t get overwhelming,” he suggested.


When it comes to making compromises, Mr Rudgley advised house hunters to look at the short- and long-term impact before deciding what to give up in the home search. 

“You may be able to happily settle in your second or third choice suburb, but compromising on something as important as quality could really come back to bite you.”

Better house hunting

The research also showed that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Australians say they would do things differently when searching for a home in the future, with their top tips including: 

  1. Set a larger budget to avoid compromising (40 per cent) 
  2. Buy a more sustainable or environmentally friendly home (34 per cent) 
  3. Find a trusted team – broker, agent, builder (33 per cent) 
  4. Being more disciplined about the time dedicated to the search (31 per cent) 

According to Mr Rudgley: “There’s a range of favourable conditions and incentives for home buyers in the market right now, which means it’s the right time to purchase for many.

“Buying a home is a huge milestone, and we want to bring back the joy of the journey… It’s about transparency of information, quality construction, sustainability features and a deeply considered approach to design and liveability that delivers a home with spaces that are both functional and beautiful.”  

In terms of the best advice he could give house hunters, he said: “There are lots of learnings from those who have gone through the experience, but perhaps most important is trusting your instinct.”

“Most people say they knew their home was ‘the one’ as soon as they opened the door. That’s a magical feeling, and it’s what the home search should be all about.” 

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More Aussies ‘in tears’ during house hunting
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