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Trust in agents rises in 2016, national poll reveals

But it's not for the reasons you might hope for, Ipsos MORI research shows

Nigel Lewis

Trust in agents has increased by five percent over the past year, research has revealed.

Polling organisation Ipsos MORI in partnership with Mumsnet asked over a thousand people across the UK last month whether they trusted agents to tell the truth. Of these 30% said they did, although 65% said they didn’t. A further 5% said they didn’t know.

The research also revealed that only government ministers and politicians are less trusted than agents, and that nurses, doctors, judges, scientists and the police are the most trusted.

But hidden in the research are figures that hint at why people rate estate agents more highly than last year, and why overall agents are not trusted.

The simple answer is that the more likely a person is to have used a sales or letting agent recently, the less they trust them. And the drop in the number of homes being sold at the moment following the Stamp Duty changes, and Brexit jitters, means fewer people have used an agent recently.

And trust levels among members of the public are highest (58%) among those who own their homes outright and who therefore are less likely to have moved recently.

Michael Clemence ipsos trust in agents“Also, it appears that middle-aged people between 35 and 44 years-old are probably most likely to have recently bought a house or be moving home are therefore particularly untrusting,” says Michael Clemence, a senior research executive at Ipsos MORI (pictured).

Michael says that those who live in suburban areas of the country where competition for homes for sale is the fiercest are also less likely to trust agents.

The research is part of the yearly Veracity Index carried out by Ipsos MORI that has been carried out since 1983.

December 7, 2016

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