Buyers spend billions over their budget

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New research by TV property gurus Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer has revealed that UK home hunters overspent by a collective £3.7bn last year, despite a buyers’ market.

A survey of 2,000 home buyers revealed that almost half (49 per cent) blew their budget on average by £10,000 – rising to £12,975 in the East Midlands.

Domestic disputes over house-buying finances were also found to be higher in the East Midlands than other parts of the country.

And East Midlanders were more likely to tell a sob story to secure a deal, according to the presenters.

One in ten home buyers were found to be willing to blow their budgets by up to £50,000 to secure a deal and two per cent agreed to prices £100,000 above the limit they set themselves.

Although some buyers are happy stretching themselves financially to secure their dream home, the findings revealed that for many people, the overspend is often unplanned and sometimes unexpected.

One in five buyers admitted to getting caught up in the excitement of the moment, letting their heart rule their head, while one in ten don’t factor in the cosmetic work required to make their new house a home.

A similar number (11 per cent) were caught out by the level of legal and estate agent fees they needed to build into their buying budget.

Stamp duty is another major issue, with more than half of house hunters (58 per cent) saying they are clueless as to the level they are required to pay when shopping and budgeting for their new home.

Kirstie Allsopp said: “Going over your intended budget isn’t always a bad thing if it means getting your dream home for a price you can still afford. However, with house prices as low as they are at present it should be a buyers’ market, and so it’s worrying to hear how many people are spending too much either because they’re not striking a deal or because they’re not on top of their finances.

“Factors like estate agent fees and stamp duty will leave a serious hole in a budget if they’re not prepared for and it’s staggering to find out how many people are being caught out.”

Another significant reason for the overspend seems to be the fact that Brits aren’t good at bagging a bargain; a staggering 40 per cent of all buyers said they offered the asking price for their home without entering into any negotiation.

Phil Spencer adds: “We know from helping hundreds of people through the buying process that the same problems and pitfalls arise time and time again.”