Rightmove says it’s recorded the busiest ever start to a New Year in its two decade history with visits to the site up 30 per cent on this time in 2020.
With Zoopla making claims about record Boxing Day traffic, and Boomin in the middle of a recruiting campaign amongst agents, Rightmove’s claim is the latest in the continuing battle of the portals.
Rightmove says early signs suggest activity continuing to grow on the site during the early days of the latest lockdown - the portal says it’s seen over six million daily visits to the site on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
Leads contacting estate agents about a property to buy are currently 11 per cent higher than at the start of 2020, and those enquiring about a property to rent are up by 22 per cent.
Rightmove’s comparisons are between Saturday January 2 and Wednesday January 6 this year, with Saturday January 4 to Wednesday January 8 2020.
The impending end to the stamp duty holiday, more people re-evaluating where they live and the housing market staying open have all contributed to the frenzied first week of the year, Rightmove says.
“January is usually one of our busiest months of the year as people start to make new year plans to move, as was the case at the start of last year when we also had the post-election bounce that gave hope of an active spring market, before that all changed with the temporary closure from March until May” explains Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister.
“We didn’t know how this year would start with so much change and uncertainty around restrictions, but it’s been reassuring for those people hoping or needing to move that the demand we’ve seen so far is the highest we’ve ever had in January” he continues.
“The housing market has been allowed to stay open during these latest lockdowns and agents have already spent months working in a Covid-secure way and creating a number of property videos, so buyers and renters starting out on their search this year will find that, alongside the safe viewing protocols, more agents are offering virtual viewings to help buyers and renters better shortlist the properties they want to go and see.”