Estate agents reporting record transaction levels continued to be swamped by new buyers and sellers in the past week as post-lockdown property market activity showed no sign of slowing with new vendor enquiries 115% above the same week last year, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) shows.
All other types of enquires remained exceptionally strong with new buyer enquiries 95% above the same week last year, while landlords and tenants were also 28% and 21%, respectively, above the same week last July.
For the week ending midnight 26 July, estate agency website traffic remained extremely high at 37% above the same week 2019, while the numbers of people using live chat on estate agent websites a were huge 81% above the pre-covid-19 average, and lead volumes overall were up 119% in the same period.
Yomdel provides 24/7 managed live chat services to 3,800 estate agent offices in the UK, handling more than a 1.5m chats per year. It has analysed the data and leads captured in live chat going back to January 2019, up until week ending 26 July 2020. The website visitor data is a sample across major estate agency groups in the UK and covers in excess of 34 million unique website visits back to January 2019.
YOMDEL PROPERTY SENTIMENT TRACKER (w/e 26 July 2020)
“Agents tell me they are now delivering record results, with one saying that in the past week they closed more business than any week since the 2008 financial crisis and great recession,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel founder and CEO.
“The government’s stamp duty holiday, pent up demand post lockdown, and people wanting to move out of cities is fuelling the most extraordinary levels of activity, and it’s all happening online via live chat and social media. It’s almost as if the property demand hosepipe has been turned on full blast and they can’t find the stop cock,” 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 lockdown, 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 dipped slightly but remained at record levels with valuation enquiries 4.33%, or 9.89 points lower on the week, at 217.03, or 117% above the pre-covid-19 62-week average.
Buyers rose 3.55%, or 6.64 points, to close at 193.80 points, some 94% above pre-covid-19 average.
Landlords were stable at just 1.16%, or 1.62 points, down to end the week at 138.07, still 38% above the pre-covid-19 average.
Demand from tenants has steadily cooled from the manic lockdown high of 150% above the pre-covid-19 average, and ended the week down 4.33% or 6.43 points, at 142.00, some 42% above the pre-covid-19 average.
“Is it a buyers’ or a sellers’ market? Well the evidence suggests it is both with a good balance between new market entrants. Add those already in the system and the challenges of keeping everyone safe when visiting a property, vendors can afford to be quite choosey about who they want in their homes,” said Soloman.
“And it’s all online as people deliberately seek out live chat on agent websites as well as their Facebook pages. This is a hyperlocal moment, people want specific answers from agents and we believe this is a genuine watershed moment in how people are behaving and choosing their agents,” he added.
The following graph looks at the relationship between website visitor volumes, live chat volumes and the volume of leads generated. The data samples 34 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 26 July and shows how web traffic to estate agents’ websites (blue line) is an incredible 37% 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) have increased exponentially, with live chat adoption and leads generated 81% and 119% above the pre-covid-19 62-week average, respectively. Before coronavirus all three (visitors, live chat engagement, leads generated) tracked each other, but not anymore.