Busiest ever January with buyer demand over 20% higher than pre-covid levels

  • Rightmove has recorded its busiest January on record for home-mover activity, with buyer demand up 16% compared to January last year, and 24% compared to January 2020
  • Tenant demand is up 17% compared to last January, and 33% compared to January 2020
  • Rightmove recorded over 218 million visits to its site and apps in January, up by 3% compared to the frenetic January 2021, and up by 44% compared with January 2020
  • The number of prospective sellers contacting estate agents to value their property jumped 27% compared to last January, and by more than 50% compared to 2020 & 2019
  • Early signs of a better-balanced market in 2022 as the number of new listings in the last two weeks of January is up by 10% compared to last year

New data from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove reveals that January was its busiest opening month to a year on record.

Buyer enquiries about homes for sale jumped 16% compared to last year, 24% compared to 2020, and 41% compared to 2019. In the rental market, tenant demand is 17% higher than last January, and 33% higher than January 2020.

Despite strong sustained demand from buyers, there are early signs of a better-balanced market over the course of 2022.

The number of new homes coming to the market for sale jumped 10% in the last two weeks of January compared to the same time last year.

In addition, the number of enquiries from potential sellers to estate agents to value their home, often the first step in putting a home up for sale, is at a record for January.

Valuation requests to estate agents increased by 27% compared to January last year, 53% compared to 2020, and 52% compared to 2019.

Rightmove also recorded over 218 million visits to its site and apps, the highest number during a January. Visits rose 3% compared to 2021, itself a frenetic year, and 44% compared to 2020.

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “We know that January is typically one of the busiest months for agents, with both buyers and sellers aiming to start the new year with plans for a new home, but even for a January, agents are reporting this will go down as one of the busiest ever. Strong buyer demand at the beginning of the year, even higher than that of January last year, shows us that people are still evaluating their needs and where they want to live, as they consider factors such as space, or returning to the office. The jump in new properties coming to the market over the last two weeks is a positive sign that there will be more choice to meet this demand during 2022, and the significant jump in valuation requests in the month compared to previous years, signals that there could be even more choice to come in the near future.”

Richard Freshwater, Director at Cheffins said: “This January we’ve seen double the number of property valuations than in 2021 or 2020, and houses are selling like hotcakes. Whilst the increase in the number of houses coming up for sale might indicate more choice, there is a real urgency in the market at the moment from buyers, and on average we’re seeing thirty to forty requests for viewings for properties in all sectors of the market.

“However, hopefully there might be more breathing room as more houses become available to buy. Many people who were considering selling perhaps a year or so ago but put their move on hold, mainly due to Covid, now appear to be looking to get on with their lives and make the jump to selling up. Cambridge and the surrounding area have seen floods of new buyers, which has been exacerbated by the end of Plan B restrictions, with many people who perhaps moved to far flung locations during the pandemic looking to return back to easily commutable areas as they return to the office.”

 

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