What’s the Point of Fantasising?

Added on March 25th 2018

We’ve all been there, spending just a few minutes on a property portal only to realise that an hour’s gone by. Most of the places we’ve looked at are also way out of budget, so why do we do this? Some of us do this even when we’re settled and not even thinking of moving.

This funny phenomenon has been given a name – dream searching – and it neatly describes how people spend their time looking at properties that are too big, too far or just too expensive to be a realistic prospect.

Developers Strata Homes conducted the research into dream searching, as well as coining the phrase, during a study that revealed 6.5 million of us look at fantasy homes every day. Almost two million spend 30-60 minutes at a time, with 1.3 million calling themselves property addicts.

Pie in the sky

One third of the survey respondents said that most of the properties they look at are too expensive for them. Almost half (44%) don’t even want to move, but still can’t stop themselves.

Two thirds say they do it because they enjoy dreaming, while a third say it inspires them to work and save harder.

Aiming high

Some dream searchers do have plans though – 43% are saving towards a deposit, with 22% of this group getting ready to buy within a year. Just over a fifth are saving but believe it’ll take them longer to get enough together.

The 55-plus age group tends to spend around 30 minutes per dream-search, while more than 10% of the 24-54 age group spends 45-60 minutes. It’s the 45-54 age group that’s the biggest dreamers, though, with sessions lasting from 30 minutes to two hours. One in five searchers has a property app on their tablet or smartphone to make it easier.

A cheap hobby

More than half of the people surveyed said they saw their dream searching as a hobby; more of the people in the younger groups thought this way, with 63% of the 25 to 34-year-olds using property browsing as a leisure activity. It’s cheap until you actually have to stump up a deposit!

Useful exposure

If your property is on the market then you may see dream searchers as timewasters, but all exposure is good exposure. Some property fantasists like to keep their friends and family in the loop – maybe there’s a moving by proxy phenomenon – so they could guide genuine movers your way.

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