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Up to 70% of traffic to websites and portals like Rightmove comes via mobile devices now and is changing property buyer behaviour.
Rightmove has revealed that the busiest time for home searches on its website is between 8pm and 9pm as the nation settles down on their couches to ‘double screen’ between their favourite TV shows and the Rightmove app.
The data points to rapidly-shifting habits among house hunters as smartphones become the key way people access information online. Only a couple of years ago laptops still held sway and therefore lunchtimes at work were the peak house hunting period.
Now, activity peaks at 8.48pm on Wednesdays, presumably as people begin to lose interest in Holby City or Supermarket Sweep and concentrate on homes for sale and rent.
The portal has also reminded agents that December is the quietest month of the year but that negotiators should gird their loins for the post-Christmas day rush when traffic increases by 231% between Christmas Day and January 2nd, or at least did last year.
During last year’s festivities, December 30th was the busiest day that month as memories of turkey and presents faded became a dim memory.
“We know just how obsessed the nation is with property, but to see such precise consistency in terms of browsing times is really quite remarkable,” says Rightmove spokesperson Miles Shipside.
“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.
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Rightmove has revealed a 15% year-on-year slump in the number of vendors which it has blamed on lacklustre price growth, Brexit and the looming General Election.
This is the largest drop of vendor confidence seen since the worst months of the financial crisis in 2009, the portal claims.
Rightmove says the asking prices of newly-listed properties has dropped by 1.3% during November month on month and this, coupled with political uncertainty, has persuaded ‘thousands’ of vendors to postpone their moving plans.
The number of agreed sales has also reduced, down by 2.9% although two markets – the NE and Scotland – have seen increases. Also, activity remains strong in the large detached five or more bedroom house market.
Rightmove’s spokesperson Miles Shipside highlights just how extraordinary the business environment is at the moment.
“I’ve seen lots of unusual events affecting the property market in my 40-year career, but a Brexit deadline followed by a snap general election six weeks later is obviously a new combination for me and for many thousands of buyers and sellers.
“With next month’s election, many sellers will no doubt choose to remain there until the dust of political uncertainty has settled in the New Year, despite buyers continuing to tough it out.”
Our comments..."We have encountered the same type of slow-down through 2019 but with no lack of viewings. We continue to see lots of applicants for properties within our catchment area which is typically larger than high street agents.
Although it's difficult to tell what the outcome will be, there has been more positivity recently, our feeling is that buyers in general are less worried about uncertainty - it seems that buyers will soon have lost patience in the whole process regarding Brexit and will want to move anyway!"
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Here's an interesting one! As we hurtle towards Christmas, is it just a waste of everyone's time keeping your home on the market during December - especially with a general election to contend with? Or could you be missing a trick if you take it off the market until the New Year? Let's take a look.
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It was a beautiful dry chilly morning today in Cirencester, the sky was blue and there was a fantastic turnout as hundreds of people filled the market place to watch the parade and to listen to Reverend Canon speak.
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Average house prices were £232,249 in October, Halifax has reported.
The lender said this brought annual inflation to 0.9%.
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “Average house prices continued to slow in October, with a modest rise of 0.9% over the past year. While this is the lowest growth seen in 2019, it again extends the largely flat trend which has taken hold over recent months.
“A number of underlying factors such as mortgage affordability and wage growth continue to support prices, however, there is evidence of consumers erring on the side of caution.
“We remain unchanged from our view that activity levels and price growth will remain subdued while the UK navigates economic uncertainty.”
The Halifax, which has recently changed how it calculates prices after criticism that its indices were out of sync with others, is still at odds with Nationwide, which also bases its numbers on mortgage approvals.
Nationwide puts the average house price in October at £215,368, saying that annual house price inflation was 0.4%.