New vendor and landlord enquiries to estate agents fell significantly in the past week raising concerns a tightening market is adding to an already pressing supply crunch with new sales property listings failing to meet buyer demand, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) shows.
In the week to midnight Sunday, vendors fell 13% and buyers were down just 1% to pile yet more pressure onto agents desperately seeking new listings to take to active and motivated applicants. Landlords also tumbled 10% to take them below the pre-Covid 62-week average while tenants remained steady.
Activity on estate agent own-branded websites remained exceptionally strong, with the volumes of people visiting 125% higher than the fourth week of lockdown in 2020, and 41% higher than the equivalent week in 2019. In turn, the volume of live chats was 5% higher than last year (14% higher than 2019) and the quantity of leads generated 10% higher than a year earlier (40% higher than 2019).
Yomdel provides 24/7 managed live chat services to 3,800 estate agent offices in the UK, handling more than a 1.9m chats per year. It has analysed the data and leads captured in live chat going back to January 2019, up until week ending 25 April 2021. The website visitor data is a sample across major estate agency groups in the UK and covers in excess of 51 million unique website visits back to January 2019.
“Bright sunny weather and the easing of lockdown is slowing demand for agents, but levels remain significantly above the last ‘normal’ year in 2019. You can’t help but speculate that vendor demand may well be well off its peak and the extraordinary market we’ve seen over the past year,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel Founder & CEO.
“For any agents looking for new vendors or landlords the best place to look is online. People are on agent websites 24 hours a day and agents need to use every tool available to them to find ways to engage with these prospective customers as early as possible. This is a new ‘new normal’ where the fittest need superfast at handling leads and offer extraordinary service to thrive,” he added.
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 fell for a second week, dropping 13.46%, or 20.58 points, to end the week on 132.60, some 33% above the average, 78% higher than the same week last year at the beginning of the initial lockdown, and 16% above the equivalent week 2019.
Buyers slipped 1.48%, or 2.45 points, to close at 162.67, 63% above the pre-covid-19 average, 55% above the same week 2020 and 47% higher than the equivalent week 2019 before coronavirus hit.
Landlords fell 9.55%, or 10.29 points, to 97.46, some 3% below the average, 8% higher than the same week last year, and 6% lower than the same week 2019.
Tenants dropped 1.88%, or 2.15 points, to close at 112.00 some 12% above the pre-covid-19 average, 29% lower than the same week last year, and 25% higher than the equivalent 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 51 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 25 April 2021 and shows how web traffic (blue line) is 125% higher 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 5% and 10%, respectively, above the same week 2020.