First Survey Of Buying A House In Northern Ireland

in Consumer Skills

A major survey of people in Northern Ireland who have recently bought a house has just been completed by the General Consumer Council, the first of its kind.  Preliminary results reveal a number of problems:

. 27% buying an existing house discovered unexpected defects after moving in; · 27% said that it took too long from the acceptance of their offer to having a binding contract; · 64% thought something could be done to improve the buying process. Welcoming the Government’s proposals to streamline the process in England and Wales (published today), Mrs Whiteside, Chairman of the Consumer Council, said: “Buying a home is the biggest and most complicated transaction most consumers ever undertake. We want to see if it can be made easier, cheaper and less stressful.” The Council’s report will be ready in the new year and a wide ranging consultation about what reforms might be needed will follow. The views of those working in the housing market including solicitors, estate agents, surveyors, builders, local councils and the Land Registers will be sought. The Consumer Council’s research included a survey of almost 1,500 people who bought their home in 1997 and was carried out with the assistance of the Department of the Environment and the Housing Executive. For further information please contact Lillian Buchanan on 01232 672488

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