Australians spend an average of 2.5 hours a week focused on property, more than twice the time they spend at the gym (1.08 hours) or speaking to their parents (0.88 hours), according to new research from HSBC.

The bank said that the result is an indication that the cooling housing market is doing little to dent some Aussies’ property fixation.

Softening property prices and low interest rates were encouraging factors for many Australians looking to enter the property market, said Alice Del Vecchio, head of mortgages for HSBC Australia, said.

“Buying a property is often the most significant purchase Aussies make,” she said.

Globally, people spend an average of 3.5 hours every week window shopping for homes, reading property magazines and scanning online listings – even when they are not in the market for a new house. Over 6% of them could be defined as an “extreme house hunter.” This means that they spend more than seven hours a week reading about or researching property.

Nearly half (49%) of these extreme house hunters check the value of their own home monthly. Nearly one-quarter of Australians (23%), meanwhile, check the value of their property every three months.

Notably, extreme house hunters feel the time they allotted to researching properties pays off, with three quarters (74%) globally saying they feel ‘relaxed’ about buying a property and almost four in five (79%) feeling ‘in control.’

The research revealed that extreme house hunters are more likely to delay important life stages as they save for the perfect home. Across the world, 19% of extreme house hunters have put off having a child to get on the property ladder. They are also twice as likely to put marriage on hold to save up for their next property purchase.

There are also some aspects that discourage buyers from snapping up a property. Locally, some Australians (21%) say that rumours of a house being haunted would stop them from buying. The study showed that having difficult neighbours is the biggest deal-breaker in the quest to find an ideal home (46%).

The UAE and USA are the most property-obsessed countries in the world, spending an average of 6.6 and 4.95 hours, respectively, on property each week.