A mere three out of 10 London house-hunters end up with a property that matches their original wish-list, according to new research published this week. And around two-thirds of buyers spend up to 10 per cent more than they originally intended.
More than one in five spend up to 20 per cent more, particularly buyers in Islington, Wandsworth, Docklands, Hampstead and Wimbledon - often forced to pay because of the shortage of property on offer.
Buyers are most likely to compromise on the condition of the property to get it, and 40 per cent of buyers end up doing more work than they intended.
Lindsay Cuthill, a director of estate agents Savills, which carried out the research, says: “More than 21 per cent will pay up to 20 per cent more than they had intended. Even if it is not a huge amount of money, many people will get their bonuses around now, and if they need a bit more to get the house they want, they will spend it.”
Period properties - Victorian and earlier - remain the style of choice, but with less property around, buyers are being forced to consider less popular periods. “Ten years ago no-one would touch a 1960s house but with Sixties fashions and furniture design coming back, they are now seen as iconic.”
Things Londoners are unwilling to compromise on are garden size, distance from good schools and the length of the walk to the station. Fewer than 10 per cent will budge on these issues. And kitchens remain the key room in the house - only four per cent will relinquish their dream of a large family kitchen.
Cuthill says: “It is the heart of the home, and no one wants a narrow little galley kitchen. People will compromise far more on the living room.”