Positivity Still Rife In Market Before SDLT Cut Announcement

Prior to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing his summer budget on 8 July 2020. The English property market was continuing its steady recovery following its closure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Yomdel sentiment survey – which focused on data week ending 5 July – there were record numbers of people visiting estate agents in a bid to put their homes on the market.

Visits to estate agents websites were up by 37% than the same time last year. Motivated new vendor and buyer enquiries captured via live chat rose to 64% and 75%, respectively, above the pre-covid-19 average. Landlords dipped slightly to 35% above the average, and tenants remained strong at 51% above.

Andy Soloman, Yomdel founder and CEO, said:

“These are incredible numbers. People are voting with their fingers and flooding onto estate agents’ own websites in greater numbers than ever before. They want to make initial contact and do business via digital channels. The proportion of people using live chat has soared 85% compared to last year and lead volumes have more than doubled.

“The volume of new leads from own-branded websites is unprecedented and after tracking this data for 13 weeks now we can see this is no flash in the pan. Whatever the business model – high street, hybrid or online – people are seeking help and advice online first, and this is where agents need to make a great first impression if they are to win business.”

Likewise the mortgage market is seeing a steady improvement. According to Mortgage Brain, the mortgage technology expert, they have seen their product numbers increase by 1.1% on the previous week. They’ve now reached a post-lockdown high on 9,266.

This is up by almost 25% on the lowest point seen since Covid-19 struck back in the week ending 12th April. However, product availability remains substantially down on the numbers seen before the pandemic, with last week’s figures still down by 36.9% on the nine-week average to 16th March.

ESIS volumes have also continued their resurgence, rising by 5% last week. They are now only 6.4% lower than pre-pandemic levels, and have been within 11% of typical levels seen before Covid-19 for five consecutive weeks, suggesting a steady foundation for the recovery in borrower demand.

Mark Lofthouse, CEO at Mortgage Brain, commented:

“The continued growth in purchase ESIS, beyond levels seen before Covid-19 arrived, is encouraging. It demonstrates the strength of desire to buy homes remains strong across the UK,  whether buying as an owner occupier or for investment purposes. This demand is being supported by the steady increase in the number of products available too, which has hit another new high following the lockdown.”

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