Rightmove has record day as more homeowners plan to sell post-lockdown

Jake Carter

February 26, 2021

Rightmove recorded its busiest day ever on Wednesday 17 February, reaching over 8.5 million website visits, as more homeowners plan to sell post-lockdown.

The number of prospective buyers contacting agents in February is also up, rising by 22% on February last year, and the number of renters contacting agents is up by 39%.

A new record was also set for visits and leads to commercial properties, and searches hit a new high for properties overseas reaching 1.1 million on 14 February.

According to research from Rightmove, among those planning to sell this year in the UK, 23% are getting ready to put their property on the market, while 29% are waiting until later in the year.

Of those waiting, 22% plan to sell when lockdown is over, a third (33%) want somewhere to buy first and 24% want to know if the stamp duty holiday will be extended.

However, there are 21% fewer new properties coming to market than this time last year.

Of those currently in the process of moving or planning to move this year, 21% are worried they will not complete in time to make use of the stamp duty holiday if it does come to an end on 31 March.

In addition, 37% say the stamp duty holiday was not a factor in their decision to move, while 16% say they are likely to pull out of the sale if they do not complete in time to make use of the stamp duty savings.

Tim Bannister, property expert at Rightmove, said: “Despite all of the uncertainty right now, there are clear signs from buyers that they want to move home in the UK this year.

“Our traffic levels are on a par with the mini-boom from last summer, and July’s busiest ever day last year has been replaced by a lockdown day in February.

“Now that we have some clarity on what the roadmap out of lockdown could look like we expect to see more people putting their home on the market.

“This should help open up more choice in the market to satisfy the strong buyer demand we’re seeing.

“I’ve heard a number of stories of people falling in love with their dream home, only to find it takes time to sell their own one and so lose out on their move.

“I do completely understand the thinking that home-owners want to find somewhere first, but in the current competitive market if they already have their property up for sale it means when they do find that dream home they’ll have a much better chance of having their offer accepted.

“People will be eager to hear what the Chancellor decides to do to stamp duty in the budget next week and there are clearly a number of people who are worried about missing the current deadline, but our research shows there are also a large group who do not see this as a factor in deciding to move this year.”

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