Property website records its busiest-ever start to the year

Rightmove says it has had its busiest-ever start to the year, with visits to the website up by 30% compared with 12 months earlier.

The website said the volume of people contacting estate agents about a property to buy was 11% higher than at the start of 2020.

The number inquiring about a property to rent is up by 22%, Rightmove said.

The end of a stamp duty holiday on March 31 2021 has contributed to activity, it added.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “We didn’t know how this year would start, with so much change and uncertainty around restrictions, but it’s been reassuring for those people hoping or needing to move that the demand we’ve seen so far is the highest we’ve ever had in January.

“The housing market has been allowed to stay open during these latest lockdowns and agents have already spent months working in a Covid-secure way and creating a number of property videos, so buyers and renters starting out on their search this year will find that, alongside the safe viewing protocols, more agents are offering virtual viewings to help buyers and renters better shortlist the properties they want to go and see.”

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