House-hunters step up search for knockout homes on Boxing Day

House hunters

Boxing Day is regarded as the busiest day of the year for online property searches, as people use their brand new computers, phones and tablets to hunt for a new home.

Last year saw a record number of house-hunters log on to the internet on December 26th, with Rightmove page views increasing by 231% between Christmas Day and January 2nd.

Indeed, the property website revealed some 40 million individual listings were viewed throughout the day, compared to 38 million on the same day in 2017. To put it into perspective, this figure is a three-fold increase on a typical day’s viewing!

Rightmove’s property expert, Miles Shipside commented: “As we move into December we see people start to get distracted by turkey and tinsel, but once the celebrations are in full swing it doesn’t take long before traffic rises again.

“Some may realise their home is too small, or they finally decide that next year will be the year they take on an exciting project and buy a fixer-upper property.”

Paul Preen

Paul Preen, Lang Town & Country managing director

Following the Boxing Day trend

Like Rightmove and Zoopla, we also see an upsurge in house-hunters visiting our website during the festive period.

Paul Preen, managing director, said: “Property searches have increased steadily year on year, with Boxing Day having recorded the highest amount of traffic for a five-year period.

“Rightmove stats show that during its busiest day, on Boxing Day 2018, the site recorded around 40 million homes viewings up from 38 million on the same day the previous year.

“Visitor levels remain strong generally up until December 29th, and then drop away until usually January 2nd or 3rd,  where levels increase again.

“Lang Town & Country offices are open for business on December 27th, 28th and 30th, and in recent years we’ve found these to be very productive days, with new enquiries coming from people visiting our offices in person, via email and on the phone.”

Richard Rabin

Richard Rabin, director at Lang Town & Country

Renters’ interest remains high over Christmas

There is also a surge in traffic to our lettings pages, as people consider making a move in the New Year.

Richard Rabin, director, said: “Over the last few years, the portals on which we advertise our rental properties have reported record searches and activity, and our own website sees an uplift in activity. 

“It could be that people are just looking to see what’s out there and for what rental price, or it could be to book viewings as soon as our offices reopen on January 2.

“We feel it’s down to people actually having time to relax and unwind and start to make their plans for the following year.

“It’s also a busy company relocation time, so our rental market activity really starts in earnest in January.”

House prices

Property market predictions for 2020

Uncertainty over the outcome of the General Election and Brexit has done nothing to dampen house-hunters’ appetites as the demand for properties continues to increase.

Throughout 2019, demand has been slightly higher than last year with an average of 320 house buyers registered per UK branch, compared to 318 on average the previous year.

Paul Preen commented: “There are lots of positive comments and predictions for the market in 2020, and the appetite to purchase property is only surpassed by the limited availability of second-hand homes for sale.

“The current mortgage rates have been a key factor to the demand we have seen, and there seems to be no indication the Bank of England plans to change things in near future while the Government tries to thrash out new global trade deals.”

New tenants

Better accommodation standards for tenants

Richard Rabin added: “Predicting the next year is always interesting, but this year in particular gives us great hope for a busy year.

“Since the tenant fee ban in June 2019 the rental market has been extremely busy, with tenants now moving properties.

“Landlords are understanding that to get the best prices and find tenants fast, the property must be up to the right standard.

“More and more landlords are investing in their properties for the long term which, in turn, is increasing rents and providing tenants with no reason to move in the short term.

“We see this trend continuing for 2020, providing tenants with a better standard of accommodation.”

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