OnTheMarket, which until now has lagged behind the leading two portals in terms of consumer-facing housing market information, has today launched a property index.
The OnTheMarket Property Sentiment Index is unique as it focuses on buyer and seller confidence and mover attitudes towards mortgage borrowing which are captured via survey questions on the website, rather than only reporting on proprietary data - although average asking prices and time to SSTC data its also included.
The sentiment insights contained in the index have been determined from consumer responses, with an average response rate of 120,000 per month over the last three months.
“Featuring our consumer survey which provides highly relevant and unique insights into consumer confidence around residential property on a UK-wide and regional basis, we believe this to be the largest monthly consumer sentiment index to date in terms of buying and selling residential property in the UK” claims Jason Tebb, OTM’s chief executive.
Both Rightmove and Zoopla have monthly indices - the former concentrating on asking prices, the latter looking in particular at major cities.
OTM’s will be different, in looking at sentiment rather than just hard data.
Tebb continues: “The reason for our focus on consumer confidence is due to the old but very true adage that ‘sentiment fuels markets’. In the world of residential property, data will only ever provide half the picture.
“In my two decades as an estate agent previous to taking my current role with OnTheMarket, I’ve personally been involved in thousands of property transactions. When showing prospective buyers around a property, my question was never ‘what do you think of the property?’. Instead, I would ask, ‘how do you feel about the property?’.
“That distinct difference between the empirical and the emotional is at the core of what we aim to provide as we launch this monthly index. There are of course other very well-respected house price indices already in circulation, however, we wanted to do something a little bit different in order to own our own lane.”
The July issue of the Property Sentiment Index, which will be released monthly in the future, also includes regional commentary from OTM member agencies Glentree International, Knight Frank, Dawsons, and Galbraith. Other agents will feature in future issues.
“We’re able to create a report like this in part due to our scale, particularly when it comes to capturing consumer sentiment. Data and intelligence is one of the ‘four pillars’ of our strategy for growth and we will be utilising the insights we’ve captured alongside the feedback we receive from our on-going dialogue with agents to continue to develop our unique offer” Tebb comments.
The portal says the sentiment index will also “inform the development of the refreshed OnTheMarket brand, advertising creative and website which will be launched in the next few months.”