With just days to go until the first partial winding in of the stamp duty holiday, vendors rose marginally and buyers remained flat. But the real emerging story was in residential lettings with a huge surge in new tenant enquiries as landlords remained scarce at levels below that seen over the past two years, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) showed.
Landlords ended the week 30% below the same week 2020, but on a par with 2019, while new tenant enquiries surged 17% on the week to end 51% above the pre-Covid 62-week average and 24% above the equivalent pre-pandemic week in 2019.
The first reining in of the stamp duty holiday with benefits cut by 50% takes effect from the end of June before being completely removed three months later. Agents report brisk business but extraordinary demand since last year is leaving buyers competing aggressively for properties as they come to the market.
Traffic to own-branded estate agent websites was 34% above average for the time of year, and the volumes of new leads generated via live chat overall were 43% above the pre-Covid 62-week average, data showed.
YOMDEL PROPERTY SENTIMENT TRACKER (w/e 27 JUNE 2021)
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 27 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.
“The reduction in stamp duty benefits is not delivering the cliff edge that so many feared, and with so many buyers now emotionally committed to moving it is creating opportunities for vendors and agents alike. But with landlords playing hide and seek, the huge spike in new tenant enquiries is presenting challenges,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel Founder.
“The Euro 2020 football tournament and Wimbledon are also putting brakes on some activity, but these are being offset by continued restrictions on international travel and the shocking summer weather which are keeping more people at home and estate agents will benefit from that,” 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 rose 2.19%, or 2.58 points, to end the week on 120.21, some 20% above the average, 26% below the same week last year during the initial lockdown, and 41% above the equivalent week 2019.
Buyers were flat, rising just 0.31 points, to close at 127.06, some 27% above the pre-covid-19 average, 23% below the same week 2020 and 28% higher than the equivalent week 2019 before coronavirus hit.
Landlords dipped 1.11%, or 1.08 points, to 96.38, some 4% below the average, 30% lower than the same week last year, and on a par with the same week 2019.
Tenants dipped leapt 17.37%, or 22.40 points, to close at 151.35 some 51% above the pre-covid-19 average, 6% higher than the same week last year, and 24% 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 – 27 June 2021 and shows how web traffic (blue line) is now 5% 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 21% and 43%, respectively, above the pre-Covid 62-week average.
YOMDEL ESTATE AGENT WEBSITE TRACKER (w/e 27 JUNE 2021)