Housing market steadies at elevated levels

The UK residential property market steadied in the past week, remaining at significantly elevated levels overall with new vendor enquires holding flat at 26% above average, while buyers dipped 6% to help partially redress the significant demand/supply imbalance, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) showed.

Landlords recovered some of their recent losses, bouncing back 8% to end the week 7% below average, but this was swiftly offset by an equivalent rise in new tenant enquiries. However, traffic to own-branded estate agent websites remained some 31% above average and the volumes of new leads generated via live chat overall was up by more than a third compared to pre-Covid data, to show that the extraordinary shift to digital seen over the past year is likely here to stay.

Yomdel provides 24/7 managed live chat services to 3,800 estate agent offices in the UK, handling more than a two million chats per year. It has analysed the data and leads captured in live chat going back to January 2019, up until week ending 13 June 2021. The website visitor data is a sample across major estate agency groups in the UK and covers in excess of 55 million unique website visits back to January 2019.

“Estate agents are facing the tightest new instruction crunch in many years, with buyers scrapping for well-priced properties, but this is set to inevitably slow as the stamp duty holiday starts to be wound and people turning their attention to the summer,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel Founder.

“The sun has finally started to shine, there is the Euro 2020 football tournament underway and Wimbledon just round the corner so it is natural that peoples’ attention is shifting away from being hunkered down inside under lockdown and the evidence we have is that in property and numerous other sectors website traffic, and consequently new enquiry volumes, are dropping,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel founder.

The YPST methodology establishes a base line average shown as 100% or 100, calculated according to average engagement values over the 62 weeks prior to the first national lockdown on 23 March 2020, and plots movements from there according to the volumes of people engaging in live chat, their stated needs, questions asked, and new business leads generated. Data is measured over full 24-hour periods.

New vendors rose 0.18%, or 0.23 points, to end the week on 125.82, some 26% above the average, 27% below the same week last year during the initial lockdown, and 21% above the equivalent week 2019.

Buyers dropped 6.47%, or 8.98 points, to close at 129.81, 30% above the pre-covid-19 average, 30% below the same week 2020 and 23% higher than the equivalent week 2019 before coronavirus hit.

Landlords recovered by 8.23%, or 7.04 points, to 92.59, some 7% below the average, 36% lower than the same week last year, and 3% below the same week 2019.

Tenants rose 8.40%, or 10.51 points, to close at 135.57 some 36% above the pre-covid-19 average, 21% lower than the same week last year, but 10% above the same week 2019.

The following graph looks at the relationship between website visitor volumes, live chat volumes and the volume of leads generated. The data samples more than 55 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 13 June 2021 and shows how web traffic (blue line) is now 6% lower than the same week last year. The volume of people using live chat (red line) and the numbers of new business leads captured (purple line) are 18% and 36%, respectively, above the pre-Covid 62-week average.

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