Significant easing of coronavirus restrictions and sunny spring weather combined to slow activity in the frenzied residential property market in the past week, as people chose to head down the pub or meet socially with friends and family instead of seeking estate agency services, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) showed.
In the week to midnight Sunday, vendors fell 8% and buyers were down 15% to offer some temporary relief to the housing stock supply crunch, while landlords and tenant applicants also dropped 8% and 14%, respectively. Agents across the UK are facing the tightest supply of new sales property in many years, and while a narrowing of the gap between buyer demand and vendor supply would be welcomed, the market remains extraordinarily tight.
Activity on estate agent own-branded websites remained exceptionally strong, with the volumes of people visiting 126% higher than the third week of lockdown in 2020, and 47% higher than the equivalent week in 2019. In turn, the volume of live chats was 61% higher than last year (37% higher than 2019) and the quantity of leads generated 25% higher than a year earlier (48% 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 18 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.
YOMDEL PROPERTY SENTIMENT TRACKER (w/e 18 APRIL 2021)
“School holidays and warming temperatures topped with beautiful spring weather saw many potential home movers choose a sunny beer garden to meet friends or family over an estate agent in the past week, so no surprises there,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel Founder & CEO.
“New listings are finding buyers and flying off the shelves in record time, and while supply is much stronger than normal for this time of year agents are staring down the barrel of simply being unable to handle the huge volume of buyers in the market and this is a major concern, 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.
After last week’s 40% rise, new vendors fell 7.80%, or 12.97 points, to end the week on 153.18, some 53% above the average, 138% higher than the same week last year at the beginning of the initial lockdown, and 67% above the equivalent week 2019.
Buyers lost the previous week’s gains to slump 15.47%, or 30.21 points, to close at 165.12, 65% above the pre-covid-19 average, 84% above the same week 2020 and 57% higher than the equivalent week 2019.
Landlords fell 7.87%, or 9.20 points, to 107.75, some 8% above the average, 34% higher than the same week last year, and 22% higher than the same week 2019.
Tenants dropped 14.20%, or 18.89 points, to close at 107.75 some 8% above the pre-covid-19 average, 15% above the same week last year, and 37% 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 50 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 18 April 2021 and shows how web traffic (blue line) is 184% 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 76% and 87%, respectively, above the same week 2020.
YOMDEL ESTATE AGENT WEBSITE TRACKER (w/e 18 APRIL 2021)