Controversy swarms around the British property portal, Rightmove. Even before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, agents claimed unfairness and there is even an organization started to give angry agents a means of getting away from the portal.
In the midst of all that, Rightmove is optimistic about the future. The portal has announced that it has hit its highest website traffic number in just one day with six million visits. This amount is up 18% year-over-year.
The site chalks this news up to homebuying momentum picking up while shelter-in-place orders have been enforced. This is a phenomenon that we have covered multiple times in recent months.
Now that these lockdown orders are relaxing, the portal has seen a “new wave of buyers entering the market”.
Rightmove’s Commercial Director and Housing Market Analyst, Miles Shipside, said:
“Usually we record our busiest days of the year in January and February and almost never when there is warm weather, so the combination of pent-up demand being released, new people entering the market and no half-term holidays during lockdown has led to this late spring boost.
“The challenge agents are facing is handling this surge in inquiries, having a process to deliver virtual viewings, and setting up socially distanced and safe physical viewings.
“This means that although numbers of sales agreed have improved from being down 90 percent to currently being 47 percent down compared to this time last year, it’s going to take a considerable time for a return to sales agreed levels seen last year and at the start of this year.”
Boost in traffic numbers has made a number of portals bring back their furloughed and laid off staff to meet the growing demand. New technology has spread rapidly while the pandemic has rampaged across the globe to allow homebuyers, sellers, and agents continue work while supporting social distancing measures. This is the new norm for property portals and Rightmove is seeing the benefits.