Online estate agents experienced a 6 per cent fall in exchanges in the past quarter, representing an overall market share of 7.2 per cent, according to a report from TwentyCi.
The customer insights company’s Property & Homemover Report for Q3 2018 claims to provide the most comprehensive real time review of the UK housing market.
TwentyCi’s chief customer officer Colin Bradshaw says: “Given the significant and continuing investment in advertising by the pure play online agents one might have expected their market share growth to have continued to climb, so this fall in the number of exchanges is unexpected.
“We’re also seeing some movement to focus on traditional approaches with Connells Group terminating their online offering with the closure of Hatched. A blip in the road or bellwether signs of structural market change? Only time will tell.”
According to the report, property exchanges went up 30 per cent year-on-year for properties more than £200,000, while property exchanges were up more than 11 per cent compared to a year ago.
TwentyCi says the strongest areas of the market, detached properties, saw a 36 per cent increase in the number of properties exchanging. There was also a 16 per cent growth in the number of exchanges in Q3 among 46 to 66-year-olds movers compared to last year. Amongst 36 to 45-year-olds there was just a 3 per cent growth in exchanges – the lowest of all age groups.
Bradshaw says: “2018 has seen a significant increase in the number of home buyers and sellers finalising their transaction. Whilst this is good news for those in the home moving journey, the lacklustre volume of properties coming to market has the potential to thwart demand.
“This in turn has the potential to push up prices as demand outstrips supply, particularly with the most desirable properties and within the most desirable areas. Equally of course, with the uncertainty over prices and the ability to purchase post Brexit as people bide their time to see how the markets react we could likewise see demand falling away leading to a fall in prices.”