CALL it the Tinder effect. Home buyers have been ‘swiping left’ or rejecting Sydney properties that could be suitable for them simply because they are overloaded with choice.
POTENTIAL homebuyers are failing to check out properties that could be suitable for them simply because they are spoiled for choice.
The property market is so overloaded with options that Sydney buyers have around 28,300 properties to choose from — an increase of 22.5 per cent over the past 12 months, according to CoreLogic data.
But property experts are warning that it could be costing people their dream home, with people overlooking a property they see online without checking out important factors like the location, the feel of the property or nearby amenities that can only be gained by a personal viewing.
The phenomenon has been dubbed the “Tinder effect” by real estate gurus, who say buyers are “swiping left” to reject properties based only on a split second impression of their online profile — much like popular dating app Tinder, where participants ‘swipe right’ to match with someone or ‘swipe left’ to reject them.
Chris Wilkins of Ray White Drummoyne said house hunters needed to go on a “first date” and view the property to actually develop a connection with it.
“When you first see a property you get to understand the physicality of the home; how big the rooms are, where they are located, the height of the ceiling,” he said.
“Ultimately we talk about our gut feeling but you will never get that if you don’t walk through the front door.
“You might read reviews for a hotel or restaurant online but how do you know what they are really like until you are there — it’s the same with a home.”
Dr Lauren Rosewarne, a social commentator from The University of Melbourne, said people in general want unlimited choice but don’t actually have to skills to deal with it.
“People have a list of wants that doesn’t always match up to the search tools available, so we do the default and just look at pretty pictures,” she said.
“We think we will know the one, whether it’s a partner, house or apartment via our first impression of a little thumbnail.”
Recent buyer Sandra Duarte said she was consumed by researching the market, “constantly swiping everyday” in an attempt to find the perfect home.
“It can be hugely overwhelming and confusing at times,” she said.
“When you walk through a place it has a completely different appeal. There were many properties that were more impressive when I inspected them in real life.”
Sydney’s auction clearance rate plummeted over the weekend to 49.2 per cent — significantly lower than this time last year when 64.9 per cent of properties were sold — with potential buyers focused on the long weekend and the footy.
“Although market conditions remain soft, I can’t help thinking that participation is down due to the AFL Grand Final,” CoreLogic auctions commentator Kevin Brogan said.
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