A huge 23% fall in new enquiries from landlords to estate agents in the past week coupled with further falls in new vendor leads, piled yet more pressure onto hard-pressed agents who remained awash with prospective buyers but rapidly dwindling stock, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) showed.
In the week to midnight Sunday, landlords took their two-week decline to a combined 28%, leaving them a worrying 14% below the pre-Covid 62-week average and some 35% below the same week in 2020. While new vendor levels remain 31% above the pre-Covid average, they did fall 8% on the week and are too few in n umber to meeting strong buyer demand.
But the market remains extremely active, with traffic to own-branded estate agent websites 44% above average, some 62% above the same week last year and 38% higher than the last “normal” year in 2019. In turn this traffic is generating 29% more live chat engagements than average which deliver 42% more leads than the pre-Covid 62-week average.
Yomdel provides 24/7 managed live chat services to 3,800 estate agent offices in the UK, handling more than a 2m chats per year. It has analysed the data and leads captured in live chat going back to January 2019, up until week ending 16 May 2021. The website visitor data is a sample across major estate agency groups in the UK and covers in excess of 53 million unique website visits back to January 2019.
YOMDEL PROPERTY SENTIMENT TRACKER (w/e 16 MAY 2021)
“It’s a right old roller coaster. Warning lights this week are flashing above landlords to join the alarm bells over dwindling sales stock in the face of extreme buyer demand. Rightmove reported this week that average house prices across the UK are at an all-time high as people rush to secure homes almost as soon as they are listed,”
said Andy Soloman, Yomdel Founder & CEO.
“Quality lead generation is key here and with the supply-demand squeeze unlikely to ease any time soon agents should be salivating over all-time record levels of website traffic and seeking ways to engage online with vendors and landlords as early as possible,” 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 7.89%, or 11.23 points, to end the week on 130.96, some 31% above the average, 4% below the same week last year at the beginning of the initial lockdown, and 23% above the equivalent week 2019.
Buyers dropped 4.69%, or 7.86 points, to close at 159.71, 60% above the pre-covid-19 average, 24% below the same week 2020 and 54% higher than the equivalent week 2019 before coronavirus hit.
Landlords sluped 23.00%, or 24.90 points, to 85.55, some 14% below the average, 35% lower than the same week last year, and 27% lower than the same week 2019.
Tenants were flat, rising just 0.30%, or 0.39 points, to close at 129.15 some 29% above the pre-covid-19 average, 48% lower than the same week last year, and 16% 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 52 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 16 May 2021 and shows how web traffic (blue line) is 62% 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 29% and 42%, respectively, above the pre-Covid 62-week average.
YOMDEL ESTATE AGENT WEBSITE TRACKER (w/e 16 MAY 2021)