ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION PRESS RELEASE 25 October 2006 at 12.00 AM
Publishing individual house prices divides opinions
Survey: Home portals by far the most important source of information for home buyers
40 per cent of home buyers would be prepared to give details of the price they paid for their home for official statistics that showed the price of an individual property. On the other hand, 30 per cent would be unwilling to give details of the price of their homes even for statistics that did not make it possible to determine individual house prices. The remaining 30 per cent of respondents would find acceptable statistics that presented information in such a general way that they did not reveal the prices of individual homes.
This information is based on a recent survey conducted by the University of Tampere's Research and Education Centre Synergos. The survey, which was ordered by Alma Media Interactive Oy, examined the opinions of home buyers on publishing the prices paid for homes and obtaining information about home buying and looked at the factors behind purchasing a home and the issues affecting decision-making. Similar surveys were carried out in 2002 and 2004.
People very aware of price levels even now
Those opposed to publishing house prices were concerned about their privacy: the price they paid for their own home was felt to be a very personal matter. Many felt a statistical comparison of homes was difficult because properties are all very individual. Those supporting the publishing of prices said that making public the prices paid for houses would in their opinion put a restraint on rising prices in the home market and would protect the position of homebuyers. Men had a considerably more positive attitude to publishing individual home prices than women.
Home buyers were in any case well aware of the prices of homes without official price statistics: only 12 per cent felt they were uncertain about price levels.
Finding a home takes longer
According to the survey, the time spent in finding a home has grown in the past few years. Whereas in 2002 finding a home took 4.0 months and two years later 4.3 months, today people spend on average 5.4 months observing the home market before signing a contract. Before deciding to purchase, respondents had visited on average nine different homes.
The average price of the homes purchased has risen considerably over the four years covered by the surveys. The homes purchased by the respondents were actually 60 % more expensive in this year's survey than in the 2002 survey and 24 % more than in the 2004 survey. The average proportion of loan financing in the price of a home has gone up five percentage points in two years to 67 per cent.
Home portals one of the most popular source of information in home buying
The importance of the Internet in home buying has remained at the same high level as it was two years ago. 81 per cent of respondents had used the Internet to obtain information about a home purchase. The most frequently used individual source was the Etuovi.com Internet website, which had been used by 69 per cent of all respondents. All subscription newspapers lumped together reached a similar figure.
Internet services were the most frequently used sources of information in all the under-60s age groups. Newspapers were still the most popular source of information for the over-60s.
56 per cent of respondents considered Etuovi.com to be the most important home buying Internet service. 28 per cent felt that Oikotie.fi was the most important Internet website.
The data used in the survey was obtained in May-June 2006 in collaboration with real estate agencies. The estate agents gave questionnaires to homebuyers in different parts of Finland when they exchanged contracts, and the respondents filled in the questionnaires and sent them to the University of Tampere. 200 replies were received.
Research Programme Director Lea Ahoniemi, University of Tampere Business Research and Education Centre
Petri Pekki, Vice President, Alma Media Interactive Oy
tel. +358 (0)10 665 3293, gsm. +358 (0)400 768 801
Sales Director Helena Somero, Etuovi.com
tel. +358 (0)10 665 5010, gsm. +358 (0)400 469 301
Alma Media is a profitably growing and internationally expanding company that invests in the future of newspapers and the online media. Its best known products are Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Kauppalehti and Etuovi.com.
Net sales in 2005 totalled EUR 286 million and the operating margin was almost 15 %. The company's share is listed in the Mid Cap segment of the OMX Nordic Exchange's Nordic List. The trading code is ALN1V.
More information at http://www.almamedia.fi/home