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, 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, 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.