Rightmove took off the gloves this morning, urging next year’s sellers not to hold off marketing until the New Year but to get their homes “on the market” sooner.
Without any direct reference to OnTheMarket, which launches on January 26, it said that “sellers who delay marketing until January” would miss exposure to Rightmove’s traffic over the holiday period.
In what will be seen as a pre-emptive strike against OnTheMarket, the message comes over loud and clear to sellers: take action now to get your property on the market – or lose out.
But what Rightmove omitted to mention today was that its busiest day was – January 26. On that day, it set a new record of 51,945,967 views.
The details are here
Rightmove this morning instead talked about traffic and not views, and did not mention its January 26 record. It underlined that last Christmas Day there were 500,000 visits to site, and 1.3m on Boxing Day.
There were 1.4m visits to its site on New Year’s Day, and 2.2m on the first working day of the year.
In 2015, the first working day of the new year will be a full three weeks ahead of OnTheMarket going live.
Rightmove stressed that there is an “opportunity for prospective New Year sellers to act now in order to beat the competition by coming to market early and catching the Christmas holiday traffic”.
The press release says: “Sellers who delay marketing until January will miss or delay exposure to this audience of potential buyers.
“With the distraction of the General Election in May, the spring moving season may be shorter than usual so starting earlier makes absolute sense.”
Underlining the point, director Miles Shipside said: “Sellers who wait until after the Christmas break to get on the market will miss the wave of activity from festive browsers who start their search even before the turkey is finished.
“Analysis of Rightmove traffic data shows that buyers are busy online over Christmas.
“There are nine days of holidays, starting on Christmas Eve, when people have time on their hands to window shop for new properties from the comfort of their own home, often testing out their new tablet and smartphone gifts in the process.
“While sellers may not want to be bothered by having viewers in the house over the holiday break, it makes sense for prospective buyers to be able to look online, whet their appetite and contact the estate agent to take it further in the New Year.
“In order to take advantage of these festive surfers, prospective sellers who were planning to wait until the New Year should consider launching their property to the market just before Christmas to take advantage of this activity.”
The press release also quotes Eddie Ellis, director of JP & Brimelow in Chorlton, Manchester, who said: “We sold eight houses in the first three days back after New Year in 2014 so there are clearly motivated movers who are ready to jump into action post-Christmas.
“Sellers who get their property details ready now will have the advantage of prime exposure during the festive peak in traffic, and they’ll also have festive-free images that won’t need to be retaken in the New Year if they’re still looking for a buyer.”
Rightmove also reported this morning that stock for sale per estate agency branch has fallen to its lowest-ever level for this time of the year.
Each branch has an average of 60 properties for sale.
It also said that the volume of new instructions is falling, with new listings down 1% on November last year, and down 15% on last month.
According to Rightmove, there has been a seasonal fall of 1.7% – equating to a drop of £4,542 – in new asking prices.
The average new asking price is £267,127.
This compares with the latest prices from Halifax and Nationwide, at £186,135 and £189,333 respectively.