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Rightmove and Zoopla listings soar as people pre-book house viewings

Over the past few weeks, there has been a surge in new properties listed for sale as well as plans for future viewings. Now with news of a housing market revival, this trend is likely to keep climbing.

Property listings on Rightmove and Zoopla hit an all-time low between 1st and 17th April, with just 47 new listings coming to market. This is according to figures compiled by Brief Your Market looking at the two property platforms combined.

However, between 18th and 23rd April, agents saw a significant revival with 8,329 new properties put up for sale. After this, on 28th April alone, a one-day spike added a further 1,595 property listings. Finally, a peak of 5,007 listings on 3rd May showed that, while we have not returned to pre-coronavirus levels, the market is certainly heading in the right direction.

A sentiment poll carried out by the company also revealed some positive findings. It asked 3,000 letting agents how they had fared, and 63% said they had secured new lettings business from landlords since the end of March. A further 65% said they expected new technology and virtual services to become the “new norm”.

Less sales are falling through

In the initial aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, we unsurprisingly saw a rise in home sales falling through. In January, looking across both Rightmove and Zoopla, 3,745 listings were registered as having fallen through. For the month of March, this figure increased to 18,101.

However, we have already seen a 57% drop in fall-throughs between March and April, when the figure was 10,265. While this does also reflect the dearth of new listings, the data from Brief Your Market shows the numbers are falling. So far in May, there have been 2,299 fall-throughs, according to the figures.

The data also shows that the number of property listings being withdrawn has not been hugely affected by coronavirus. Again, this will partly be a reflection of the fact that there are less listings in the first place, though. In January, 82,071 sellers who listed properties on the portals withdrew them, rising to 100,320 in February.

Since then, this figure has fallen to 97,106 in March and 48,623 in April.

Book now to view your next property purchase

A separate study from Coadjute shows more signs of recovery in the market. It reports that there has been a 182% surge in the number of people booking advance viewings of properties over the past four weeks.

This comes after a steep decline between 2nd March and 5th April, when there was a 62% fall in enquiries and 83% less buyer registrations. The recent increase shows there is pent-up demand in the property market and people are already gearing up for a recovery before too long.

As well as a rise in people booking ahead for property viewings, between 6th April and 3rd May there was a 58% rise in offers. While this increase is in relation to how far the figures had fallen, it is certainly a positive upward trend. Now that firms are finding ways to operate through the lockdown, most expect this to continue.

Between the same dates, estate agent registrations and enquiries increased by 45% and 61% respectively. Behind the scenes, those who are determined to press ahead with their buying and selling plans, it seems, are continuing to do so where possible.

The above data was all collected before Boris Johnson’s latest lockdown easing guidance earlier this week. Therefore, it will be interesting to see Brief Your Market’s updated figures taking this into account. It seems likely we will see a further surge in optimism returning to the sector.

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