Psychological study reveals it's possible to 'fall in love' with a house

Prospective homebuyers really do ‘fall in love’ with properties they’ve set their hearts on, according to a new psychological study.

The research, commissioned by online conveyancing firm In-Deed.net, reveals that more than half of buyers (56 per cent) who put in an offer on a house in the past year displayed at least one symptom of ‘love’ as defined by psychologists, while those who had a deal fall-through exhibited emotions akin to a break-up.

More than a third (35 per cent) of the study’s subjects admitted they couldn’t stop thinking about the property after viewing, while one in five (18 per cent) felt a sense of energy and excitement similar to infatuation. A small number (five per cent) even confessed their heart rate increased when thinking of the house.

Study leader, psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson comments:
“It’s not uncommon for people to feel a sensation akin to love for inanimate objects, like a prized possession. Given the level of emotional commitment involved in buying a house, it’s not surprising that people form relationships with their properties in similar way to those with their fellow human beings.”

But it’s not always a fairy tale ending for prospective buyers, with more than a quarter (28 per cent) reporting that their property deal fell-through for reasons out of their control.

And beyond the general inconvenience of failing to get the house of your dreams is a much deeper emotional turmoil – which according to psychologists is comparable with the distress felt during the break-up of a relationship.

Feelings of frustration (41 per cent) and anger (35 per cent) are the most common emotional responses to losing out on a house – and just like a break-up, one in eight (12 per cent) felt a sense of misery and despair, while a small number also felt bitter recrimination (6 per cent) and a loss of appetite (2 per cent). One in seven (13 per cent) buyers actually admitted they felt like they’d been dumped as a result.

With declining standards among legal professionals to blame for a deal falling-through in one in eight cases (12 per cent), buyers are being urged to make the conveyancing process and fast and efficient as possible.

Commenting on the study, In-Deed.net chairman and founder of Rightmove, Harry Hill said: “For most of us buying a house is the biggest and most important purchase you will ever make, and in doing so you invest a lot of yourself in finding the perfect one. At In-Deed we do every we can to make it happen without unnecessary heartbreak.”

In-Deed aims to remedy poor legal services, using a panel of reputable, vetted lawyers and web and mobile technology that allows users to track every stage of the home-buying process, from instruction through to completion.


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