First week of housing market reopening in England

An early look at what happened in week one of the housing market reopening in England.

First week in the rental market


  • Demand for rental property is up 33% compared to this time last year as the market reopens and renters jump into action, with Monday 18th May seeing the highest level of rental demand ever recorded in one day on Rightmove


  • Almost 23,000 new rental listings have come to the market since the first day of reopening, down 10% on the same week last year
  • Total available stock for rent is now up 13% since before lockdown


  • Asking rents are currently up 2.1% on 2019, down from an annual rate of 3% before lockdown. They are on average £1,089 per calendar month (for all of Great Britain)


  • Biggest increase in rental searches compared to last year are in Rotherham (+97%), Cambridge (+77%) and St Helens (+75%)


First week in the resale market


  • Demand for property up for sale is now down just 7% compared to this time last year, and up 120% compared to the previous week


  • Almost 11,000 new sales listings have come to the market since the first day of reopening, 65% down on the same week last year although improving from 90% down during lockdown
  • There is currently £230 billion worth of property currently on Rightmove, circa 95% of the housing market
  • Total available stock for sale is down 2.5% since before lockdown


  • 1% of properties up for sale have been reduced over the past week, compared to 2% over the same week last year
  • The average size of a reduction over the past week was 4.5%, the same size of a reduction as in the same week last year


  • Average asking prices of all property up for sale are up 2% on last year, the same as before the lockdown. The current average is £311,828 (for all of Great Britain)


  • Biggest increase in buyer searches compared to last year are Manchester (+60%), Liverpool (+54%) and Leeds (+38%)


  • On Tuesday 19th May Rightmove recorded the busiest day since Thursday 5th March, with almost 5.3 million visits, up 4% on the same day in May last year

Rightmove’s Housing Market expert, Miles Shipside, comments: “One week on from the surprise opening of the housing market and agents are still showing caution and quite rightly putting safety first, but many had already started to prepare during lockdown and so have been able to start reopening their branches and conducting viewings. The activity jump on Rightmove proves the determination of home-movers to continue with their plans over the next few months. The pause button put many of the usual metrics we report on out of kilter and so a week’s worth of data should only be taken as an early indication of activity, but it’s certainly encouraging.”


Notes to editor

Demand – this is measured by the number of people emailing or phoning estate agents through Rightmove.

Asking rents and asking prices – these are based on all property currently on the market. We usually measure newly listed asking rents and asking prices and will do so when there is enough robust data over the coming weeks.


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