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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK
Buyers 'pick home in 17 minutes'
Sold sign
Gone in 17 minutes
UK homebuyers spend on average just 17 minutes looking at a new property before deciding to buy it, according to a survey for bank ING Direct.

That is less time than the 54 minutes they take to pick out the new curtains.

Speaking to 1,000 people who bought homes over the past 12 months, 49% said they feared someone else would snap up the property unless they were quick.

More than a third of buyers claimed they knew within five minutes whether it was the home for them.

'Huge stress levels'

A fifth of buyers blamed their haste on estate agents talking up interest from other parties.

Buying a house is a long term commitment so don't rush into it
Chris Handley, Manchester

As a result of spending just 17 minutes before making their decision to buy a property, 26% of respondents said they ended up regretting moving so quickly.

"The pace of today's housing market puts a huge amount of stress on buyers and our research shows this can lead to snap decisions being made when choosing a new home," said ING Direct chief executive Lindsay Sinclair.

More than 177bn worth of mortgage advances were made in the UK in the first six months of this year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

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