Spotahome: UK saw eighth largest property market decline of 28 European countries

Jessica Bird

May 19, 2020

property market activity

Across the period from November 2019 to April 2020, the UK saw a 4.1% decline in online property market activity, the eighth largest decline out of 28 European countries, according to research by international rental marketplace Spotahome.

The rankings map the average monthly change in total visits and engagement during the period.

In contrast, Austria (7.8%), Finland (7.8%) and Sweden (7.4%) saw the highest average monthly increase in online property market activity.

Lowest on the list was Greece, with a 7.2% decline in online property market activity between November 2019 and April 2020.

The analysis found that the UK has the sixth highest proportion of renters, at 34.9% of the population.

Using rental stock figures from Rightmove and Zoopla, Spotahome found that across the UK, the total number of rental listings in May was 101,013.

Jack Kuecker, director for UK and Ireland at Spotahome, said: “It’s interesting to see how the severity of the current pandemic has impacted property market sentiment across Europe.

“This is, of course, influenced by the varying levels of lockdown restrictions, with some nations maintaining a business as usual stance while others have ceased market activity completely.

“The good news is the most recent market indicators suggest the UK market is set for a swift comeback.

“We’ve already seen a sustained level of activity across our platform for the duration of the UK lockdown; both domestic and international tenants are keen to find rental properties.

“In the current climate, tenants are embracing the additional sense of safety that comes with contactless viewings as it allows them to progress with their search without visiting the property.

“This is already something that the latest generation of renters are becoming accustomed to and for future generations, a shift towards 100% digital renting could quite easily become the new norm.

“Our foundation as a business has always facilitated a completely digital approach to renting.

“However, it’s highly likely that the events of the last few months will now act as a catalyst within the property sector, accelerating the digitalisation seen over previous years and evolving industry practices to operate on an almost completely digital basis.”

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