Rightmove had its busiest ever day on Wednesday 27th May. While this is definitely a cause for Rightmove to celebrate, what does this mean for the rest of the property market?
On Wednesday Rightmove have six million visits to its site for the first time. It was 18 per cent up from the same time last year.
However, this wasn’t just casual house browsing traffic. Rightmove also experienced a record level of people phoning and emailing estate agents through the site.
There has been a lot of speculation about how the property market would bounce back following lockdown. However, it appears not to have dampened property demand, as the Rightmove statistics show a wave of released pent-up demand.
Rightmove that a new wave of buyers has entered the market. The property website found that over a quarter of people who had no plans to move before the lockdown are now looking for a new home.
‘Usually, we record our busiest days of the year in January and February and almost never when there is warm weather,’ explains Miles Shipside, Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst. ‘So the combination of pent-up demand being released, new people entering the market and no half-term holidays during lockdown has led to this late spring boost.’
While this is a good sign that the housing market should hopefully bounce back sales are still significantly down on last year.
‘Although numbers of sales agreed have improved from being down 90 per cent to currently being 47 per cent down compared to this time last year, it’s going to take a considerable time for a return to sales agreed levels seen last year and at the start of this year,’ explains Miles.
The areas that are seeing the biggest spikes in interest are unsurprisingly in picturesque locations in the South West and North.
‘The last two weeks have been incredibly busy – it’s crazy. From £300k up to £3 million plus, the interest in the South West is off the charts. Much interest has been from London, but we’ve also had interest from Yorkshire and further afield,’ explains Blair Stewart, a consultant at Strutt & Parker in South Hams.
Anthony Holtom, director of Hearnes estate agent in Ringwood has seen a similar influx of interest that has turned into offers. ‘Since the market reopened we’ve been incredibly busy, and have actually had a number of properties getting multiple bids and some over the asking price. Some of those properties didn’t have that much interest before lockdown,’ he explains.
There are still many challenges in the housing market. However, it seems like things are looking up.