Britain is a nation addicted to online ‘property porn’ with thousands of internet users spending hours searching for properties they could never afford, according to research conducted by YouGov for a property website.

* Search for prime property online

The research found that nearly 40% of Brits regularly surf the web looking for property and over one in ten (14%) property website users admitted to spending more than an hour a week searching for homes online. The worst addicts were true property obsessives, with 1% of site users spending more than three and a half hours a week looking at homes on the web.

Much of the time spent online isn’t even used looking for your next home – 38% use property search sites to find out how much their neighbours’ house is worth and 22% spend their time looking at dream properties they could never afford, pure ‘property porn’! The story differs in the regions, with the nosy Scots leading the charge for spying on the neighbours (51%) whilst the realistic Midlanders are most likely to be
looking for properties they can afford (83%).

The rise of property porn is even challenging some of Britain’s most popular online activities. The majority of property site users admitted to spending more time looking for homes online than looking at holiday sites, music sites or social networking sites.

The much feared economic downturn doesn’t seem to be impacting on people’s property searching habits, with 26% of property site users saying they’re actually going to be searching more in the predicted downturn, many in the hunt for a property bargain.

The research, undertaken by YouGov, surveyed 2053 UK adults.

* Search for prime property online