Almost 95% of people looking for a new home start their search on the internet – and in the 18-24 age group the proportion rises to 100%.
Much older people also start their search online, with 66% of over 75-year-olds using the internet.
The statistics emerge in research by portal Property Price Advice, which gives property valuations almost instantly online.
EAT received news of the survey in an email whose heading was “95% of people now search for their next home online – High st estate agents to close”.
This seemed provocative enough, but the headline proved a bit of a distraction.
Managing director David Bexon – who used to be boss of the Smartnewhomes portal – said: “The rise of the property portal has given people 24/7 access to properties for sale, with many people checking these websites multiple times a day to catch their dream property.
“Estate agents definitely still have a place, though, and shouldn’t be overlooked; they can offer invaluable local knowledge.”
Despite the rise in online searches, the estate agent does remain popular. Half (51%) of the 1,057 surveyed would also visit estate agents when searching for a property, 41% still look in local newspaper property sections, and 38% will also drive around looking for houses for sale.
Property Price Advice, which says it has valued over a million properties, could well be right about estate agents having their uses.
We asked for an online property valuation and were told £425,000, which we thought was probably about right. However, the leeway was enormous, since we were told we might expect as low as £360,000 and as high as £490,000.
Help! We think we need a local estate agent…