Lockdown reignites the home moving flame
With half of 2020 already behind us and over 100 days spent in lockdown, the property industry is in a position to assess the health of the sales market – and the picture is positive, as our unusual situation appears to be a catalyst for the home moving masses, rather than an activity dampener.
While it may feel counterintuitive to start thinking about buying or selling a property while in such unprecedented times, the pandemic is making many people reassess their priorities and working practices. The result is a rush to move to properties with bigger gardens or a better home working set up, or perhaps a relocation to be closer to friends, family, countryside or coast.
As well as Rightmove experiencing its busiest day ever for home searches during May 2020, two separate reports show that sentiment has translated into a resurgence in buying property. The latest figures from NAEA Propertymark – the UK’s leading professional body for estate agents – show house hunters are undeterred, with the number of movers registering with its branches rising 7% in May.
In fact, the number of people getting in contact with estate agents last month has surpassed the level seen pre-lockdown. The figures released by NAEA Propertymark also showed improving house buying success for first-time buyers, with sales made to property novices up 10% between February and May 2020.
A separate weekly analysis of figures by property marketing specialist BriefYourMarket, also showed that the green shoots of property recovery that were noted in early 2020 have continued to flourish during lockdown.
Its latest Property Index, which reflected combined on-market activity across Rightmove and Zoopla between 20th and 26th June 2020, revealed the number of properties changing status from ‘for sale’ to ‘sold subject to contract’ rose substantially in a week. In fact, an additional 5,481 homes had an offer successfully accepted in a seven day period.
BriefYourMarket’s findings also showed that nerves are continuing to settle, with 3,173 fewer properties being withdrawn from the market in its week-on-week comparison, as well as a reduction in fall throughs – when a ‘sold subject to contract’ property reverts back to ‘for sale’ status.
Commenting on the positive shift in property dynamics, BriefYourMarket.com’s Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Combellack, said: “This trend analysis would certainly indicate that vendors are continuing to gain confidence in the new process of putting their house on the market, and are happy to work under the new conditions that are rapidly becoming the new normal for the industry.
“This optimism is having a positive knock-on effect on the number of withdrawals and the number of new instructions coming to market, as new properties coming to market have remained in and around the 60,000 mark for the last two weeks now.”
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