First-time buyer property portal Share to Buy saw its best day for registrations on May 13 – up 55% on daily averages for 2020.
Following an initial fall in traffic immediately after the UK entered lockdown, the portal, which specialises in shared ownership and Help to Buy homes, has seen sustained growth in registrations and traffic throughout April and May, with engagement now exceeding pre-lockdown levels.
May’s results to date have been 15% up year-on-year, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nick Lieb, head of operations for Share to Buy, said: “First-time buyers have not put their homeownership dreams on hold, and it’s encouraging that prospective purchasers have continued to register their interest and view homes online throughout lockdown, with a surge in demand following the latest government guidance.”
A number of housing providers listed on Share to Buy have reported that demand for shared ownership has been out-performing other homes on offer, demonstrating the resilience of the scheme, which is designed to help first-time buyers and those who do not currently own a property onto the ladder.
Eloise Robins, director – head of shared ownership sales for JLL, added: “JLL have seen a rise in the number of Shared Ownership enquires for the months of March and April, with those homes offering outdoor space, being most favourable.
“Our data has shown us that this end of the market has been less impacted and is where we are seeing most traction, in terms of conversion rates.
“Those who qualify for Help to Buy and shared ownership appear to still have motivation and appetite to move.
“We have been able to utilise virtual tours to assist with selling properties on behalf of our clients, which has proven successful and resulted in a number of reservations across the JLL portfolio.”
Lieb concluded: “It’s clear that shared ownership buyers have been quick to embrace new technology, and lockdown will undoubtedly impact the way we buy homes forever.
“Our registrants have been actively watching virtual tours, arranging digital one-on-ones with sales teams and reserving homes remotely.
“Share to Buy’s weekly webinars are also seeing upwards of 500 eager first-time buyers attending live sessions and submitting hundreds of questions via social media.”