It’s the most expensive purchase most people ever make but more Aussies are likely to buy their properties without seeing them than they are their pets, vehicles or boats.
That’s the finding of a survey by comparison site Canstar, which revealed properties bought sight unseen was a growing trend during the pandemic.
The nationwide research showed 11 per cent of property buyers seeking an investment property or home to live in would buy real estate without viewing it.
Only 8 per cent of respondents would do the same for a pet, while 10 per cent were prepared to buy vehicles sight unseen.
Canstar editor-at-large Effie Zahos said rapid adoption of digital technologies during lockdown made more buyers comfortable forgoing onsite inspections.
“Australians are working, socialising and shopping online more than ever before, and this has resulted in some interesting buying trends, especially within the property market,” she said.
“Since the start of the pandemic, surging house prices in capital cities have sparked a regional property boom, with buyers abandoning the big smoke in favour of affordable housing and less restrictions.
“But regional prices are now creeping up, fuelling a growing sense of urgency among buyers desperate to crack the market.”
Lockdown was also forcing buyers to adapt because getting to property sites was inconvenient, she said.
“With nearly half the population now in lockdown, impacted buyers are unable to travel interstate or even outside their local government area to inspect a home.
“This leaves them with little choice but to go online, and some real estate agents have reported an increase in buyers competing for property through virtual auctions.”
The research also found that just 39 per cent of Australians were prepared to buy groceries online.
Just 37 per cent would go online for clothing and about 35 per cent said they wouldn’t be willing to purchase anything without seeing it in person.
“When it comes to buying sight unseen, the real trick – apart from extensive research – is to listen to your gut instinct,” Ms Zahos said.
“If you’re getting a bad feeling about something, then you’re probably spot on … don’t let the notion of ‘love at first sight’ come back to bite you.”
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