95% of people now search for their next home online

Online property portals now the most popular home search method. Are traditional estate agents a thing of the past?

The way that people now search for their home has changed dramatically in the last decade. Whereas years ago the estate agent would be the first point of call, now the majority of potential buyers don’t even need to leave home to begin their search.

A recent survey by online property valuation website Property Price Advice has revealed that a massive 94.8% of people use property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla when conducting their house search.

Age is a significant factor; with 100% of young people aged 18-24 look online before moving home. Comparatively, 66% of people aged 75+ went online when looking for a new home.
David Bexon, Managing Director for Property Price Advice says “The rise of the property portal has given people 24/7 access to properties for sale, with many people checking these websites multiple times a day to catch their dream property. Estate agents definitely still have a place though and shouldn’t be overlooked; they can offer invaluable local knowledge and recommend up and coming areas that you may not have been aware of or considered.”

Despite the rise in online searches the estate agent does remain popular, in fact 51% of those surveyed would also visit estate agents when searching for a property, 41% still look in local newspaper property sections, 38% will also drive around their area looking for houses for sale and for those wishing to buy a brand new house 24% will visit a development/show home.
The 18-24 year old age bracket also seems to be the most interested in New Build property with 50% of 18-24 year olds also visiting housebuilder developments when searching for a property. This is likely to be due to the introduction of Government schemes such as Help To Buy.

The amount of additional property information available to potential buyers online in general has also increased. You can now search for a whole host of property data before making a final decision on a property such as the its previous sale price, current council tax band, average energy costs etc.

All this additional information means that potential homebuyers are now more informed on the market in general and more specifically the property they are interested in and may feel like they are in a stronger negotiating position when it comes to making an offer on a property.

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