Online property searches spike as the property market picks up speed


Rightmove is seeing a surge in online property searches. This shows the property market is being boosted by the stamp duty holiday extension and mortgage guarantee scheme.

On 3rd March, the day of the Spring Budget, Rightmove revealed visits to its website surpassed 9 million for the first time in one day. Home-hunters spent a record 71 million minutes on the website. There was also an increase in prospective buyers contacting estate agents through Rightmove with an 82% rise compared to the same day in 2020.

This record-breaking day surpassed just over 8.5 million website visits that was recorded in one day the week prior. This is a clear indication that there is more certainty in the sector for buyers and sellers. With the roadmap out of lockdown released and the stamp duty holiday announcement, there is more confidence within the property market.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s resident property data expert, says: “It’s clear from our record-breaking traffic numbers that the Spring Budget has introduced buyers into the market who were not perhaps able to consider moving until now or who were waiting to hear what was going to happen to stamp duty.

“The stamp duty holiday extension, coupled with the introduction of 5% deposits, has given many people the certainty they have been looking for to press ahead with their home-moving plans. We expect this to help spring market activity and could encourage more sellers to come to market especially in the areas where property prices are lower.”

Taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday

Across the UK, the average time it is taking a seller to find a buyer is 65 days. Rightmove says it’s currently taking an additional 126 days to go through the entire legal process.

Because of this, Rightmove estimates sellers should enter the market by 23rd March. This is to have the best chance of completing by the tapering end to the stamp duty holiday. From 1st July to 30th September, the nil-rate band stamp duty threshold will be held at £250,000.

Tim Bannister comments: “Many people who may have been delaying a move for a whole multitude of reasons now have the impetus and encouragement to take their next life step – whether it’s getting a foot on the property ladder as a first-time buyer or trading up for more space and a bigger garden.”

The north is providing the most value

The north of England is providing more choice of properties valued under the tapering nil-rate stamp duty band of £250,000. Often buyers and investors can get more space and value for their money in this part of the UK. Additionally, there has been a rise in people looking for more space. Because of that, the north’s property markets will likely remain busy in the coming months.

In certain areas of the north, 99% of properties for sale are on the market for £250,000 or less. This is compared to only 5% of properties available in London within that price point, according to Rightmove. Many buyers and investors will try to make the most out of the tapering end to the stamp duty holiday. And many will likely be in search of properties within this price bracket.

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Online property searches spike as the property market picks up speed


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