The eagerly anticipated government announcement scrapping stamp duty on home purchases up to £500,000 sparked more potential vendors than ever before to rush to estate agents and request valuations in the past week, while landlords hit a new peak and buyers pushed back towards the previous high, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) shows.
For the week ending midnight 12 July, estate agency website traffic remained 31% above July 2019, while the numbers of vendors requesting home valuations via live chat shot up almost 30% compared to the previous week, and an astonishing 105% higher than the same week in 2019. Not to be outshone, landlords and buyers also marked strong gains, ending the week 86% and 55% higher, respectively, than the same week last year.
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 5 July 2020. The website visitor data is a sample across major estate agency groups in the UK, and covers in excess of 33 million unique website visits back to 6 January 2019.
“The chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on stamp duty will save home purchasers up to £15,000 and this is a real shot in the arm for estate agents desperately seeking to recover revenue they lost through coronavirus lockdown. The market is really buzzing right now,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel founder and CEO.
“The volume of sellers requesting valuations are now at levels we’ve never seen before. These are incredible opportunities for estate agents, and if people are going to hit the 31 March deadline on the stamp duty incentives they need to get listed as soon as possible, the clock is ticking,” he added.
YOMDEL PROPERTY SENTIMENT TRACKER (w/e 12 July 2020)
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 shot up to a new record high with valuation enquiries rising 29.16%, or 47.94 points to end the week 112% above the pre-covid-19 average at 212.35.
Buyer interest also marked strong gains, rising 9.04%, or 15.81 points, to 190.63, an incredible 91% above pre-covid-19 averages, and 86% above the same week last year.
Landlords hit a new record high, rising 12.4%, or 16.78 points to 152.14, to finish 52% above the pre-covid-19 average, and also 52% higher than the same week in 2019.
Demand from tenants remained strong, rising 3.86%, or 5.84 points, to end the week at 57% above the pre-covid-19 average at 157.00.
“Post-lockdown the property market has been seeing exceptionally high levels of activity and these cuts in stamp duty are just throwing more fuel on to the fire,” said Soloman
“Cuts in 90% and 95% LTV mortgage availability and the uncertain outlook for the market and the economy does put a slight dampener on things and it means agents should move as fast as they can to meet demand,” 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 33 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 12 July and shows how web traffic to estate agents’ websites (blue line) is an incredible 31% 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 74% and 109% 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.