Rightmove Report 9 Million Reasons for Optimism
Twelve months ago the pandemic started wreaking havoc on these shores, forcing us into remote working, panic shopping and a trilogy of lockdowns.
While there have been times we have wondered how our industry will cope with the situation, by and large, we have managed to sidestep various obstacles and have been the beneficiaries of various government schemes, as Number 10 repeatedly stressed the importance of property to the economic bounce back.
But there have always been lingering questions:
‘What happens when the Stamp Duty holiday finishes?’
‘How long can this all last?’
‘What will the post-COVID market look like?’
Well, now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and Rightmove has provided strong reasoning for optimism!
The property website reported that on 3rd March –the day the Spring budget was announced – they received a record-breaking 9million visits from potential homebuyers, who spent 71 million minutes on the website.
Enquiries to estate agents through Rightmove also increased by 82% compared to the same day in 2020.
Buy Association suggest this is a ‘clear indication that there is more certainty in the sector for buyers and sellers.
Our digital solutions put us in a strong position throughout the pandemic, as we helped developers adjust to the new challenges faced by the industry, but particularly in the last six months, we have noticed a very good upturn in business from the 200 developers we work with.
While previous surges in interest may have felt like a rush to beat a deadline, this feels like more of a long-term prognosis for the industry, with the Rightmove even receiving 8.5 million visits the week before the budget was announced.
Tim Bannister, Property Data Expert at Rightmove, noted that "Many people who may have been delaying a move for a whole multitude of reasons now have the impetus and encouragement to take their next life step – whether it’s getting a foot on the property ladder as a first-time buyer or trading up for more space and a bigger garden.”
This reasoning suggests we are now seeing the fulfilment of the prophecies made during the claustrophobia of lockdown, causing people to crave more space and a change of scenery. While the Stamp Duty holiday has no doubt enticed many people into the market, there would have been others who sought more certainty about how and when we would get back to normality before making their move. The Stamp Duty holiday was of little reassurance for first time buyers; however, signs of stability, along with the5% mortgage, provide much greater incentive to take their first step on the ladder, and in doing so, offer an indicator of the industry’s long-term prosperity.