The vast majority of buyers and sellers with sales already agreed, or those hoping to move when lockdown ends, are intending to continue with their plans.
Most of the properties that were on the market for sale before lockdown have stayed on the market, with total available stock for sale down just 2.2%. A survey conducted on a live Rightmove webinar on 28th April asked people if their plans before lockdown had now changed. 40% of buyers and sellers said they were going ahead as planned and 54% said they had postponed their plans for now but were planning to continue after the lockdown ends.1
This determination coincides with early signs that more home-hunters are researching and searching now, in an effort to move home once the government signals it is safe to do so. Visits to Rightmove initially dropped by 40% at the start of lockdown and have been recovering slowly over the past few weeks. In the last week of April, visits were up 20% when compared with the first few days of lockdown.2
Rightmove’s Commercial Director and Housing Market Analyst Miles Shipside comments:
“The resolve of buyers and sellers to carry on with their sale is clear, whether it’s those who are going through the conveyancing process already or those who currently have their home on the market or want to buy when lockdown ends. The longer people are spending in their homes the more they may be considering not just a new home but also a new location, and are starting to research and search for their next move, leading to this slow but steady recovery in activity. It’s very early days for the market and will still take some months for the industry to find its feet but these signs are encouraging.”
We’ve also seen signs of a shift in the percentage of people considering a move from the city they currently live in, with agents also reporting increased interest in smaller towns. Read more here.
1Survey on Tuesday 28th April. Number of responses = 784. 2Visits to Rightmove, 24-26th March 2020 compared to 28-30th April 2020.