"Silver surfers" finding property online

Posted: 25 May 2006 09:45:22 GMT


            Property News - "Silver surfers" finding property online

As the UK's older population becomes increasingly au fait with the internet, OAPs are starting to lead the way in terms of searching for property online.


We are now in the midst of Silver Surfer Week – an initiative sponsored by Age Concern and Microsoft among others – and the Independent is reporting that the internet is now playing a central role in the way that the elderly look for a new home.

Referring to research by Nielsen Netratings, it is claimed that users over 50 years of age now represent 24 per cent of the UK's internet-surfing community, which is the same proportion as for the under 20-year-olds.

While youngsters tend to use the internet as a social instrument, older surfers are more likely to use it for constructive purposes, it is claimed.

Research from the PropertyFinder website shows that 80 per cent of prospective homebuyers now use the internet to start their search for a new house and it seems that the over 50s are at the forefront of this trend.

As recently noted by the Telegraph, it is a trend that does not stop with the search, as more and more people choose to buy and sell properties online. With estate agents charging around 2.5 per cent commission to sell a property, it is estimated that most sellers face a fee of just under £8,000 when VAT is taken into account.

The example cited is that of graphic designer Ben Clayton, who sold a two-bedroom house on the houseladder website for only £100 in fees. He told the Telegraph that he had saved £3,100 on estate agents' fees and the deal was confirmed just ten days after he decided to advertise the property.

While many sales will take much longer than Mr Clayton's, the lure of online selling is undeniable and it seems that the silver surfers are taking the initiative.


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