New figures from Zoopla suggest a far higher use of online agents than has previously been quoted.
In its latest annual ‘state of the property nation’ survey, 6,000 consumers were questioned.
Included in a wide variety of questions was one which asked: “What channel(s) did you use when you last sold a property?”
Zoopla told EYE that 20% said they used an online agent.
However, because respondents were allowed to select more than one option, Zoopla says that “it infers” that some may also have used a high street firm.
To the question: “What channel(s) did you actually sell your property through in the end?” – 9% said it was an online agent.
The survey was conducted in the last quarter of last year, although the results are only released today.
The Zoopla figures are far higher than those previously quoted for online agents’ market share of listings.
For example, in January data firm TwentyCI put online agents’ market share of listings (not sales) at 7.9% for a fourth successive quarter in the last three months of last year.
Purplebricks’ ambition is to reach 10% overall market share of listings and according to The Advisory’s analysis of Rightmove currently has around 4.6% of the total market.
Until Zoopla’s figures today, a breakdown of actual sales between high street and online firms does not appear to have been documented.
However, EYE queried the new Zoopla figures, released to the trade press, which say that last year 79% of sellers instructed high street agents.
Zoopla adds that this was the highest proportion for a decade – suggesting that if last year 20% of sellers instructed an online agent, the remaining handful took the private sales route.
According to Zoopla only 63% of sellers in 2018 instructed a high street agent, suggesting that even more sellers used online agents then.
The percentages are averages: last year in Scotland, for example, just 64% of sellers chose a high street agent, compared with 83% in the south-west.
Zoopla’s figures also claim that last year high street agents sold 84% of properties.
Andy Marshall, chief commercial officer at Zoopla, said: “Estate agency as an industry is increasingly diverse and the emergence of onlines and hybrids have certainly given the market a new dimension.
“That said, with research indicating that high street agents are steadfast in their appeal, it suggests that all operators are working to differentiate and add value to consumers – whether it’s through local knowledge, sage market insight or competitive fees.”