Online agents’ share of the market has gone up 19% year on year – but still represents just under 5.5% of the market overall.
The finding is in a new report, out today, which says that the growth in online market share is testament to the power of advertising and the huge sums that have been spent on TV and radio adverts.
It is the second time that customer intelligence firm TwentyCI has issued a quarterly ‘home mover’ report. Its latest covers the three months to September.
While the firm is largely unknown to the industry – its customers include the likes of Heinz – we are told it does work with a number of estate agents, and that its interest in the property sector will become clearer as the months go by.
It claims to have exclusive access to over 29bn pieces of data covering property purchases and rentals.
Its new report says that in the third quarter there were 6.2% fewer home moves than in the same period last year.
However, exchanges across the UK were up 15.2% on the same period last year, with prices increasing by 1.5%.
In London exchanges were up by 9%, and prices down by 8.4%.
It was a patchy picture elsewhere, says Twenty CI: in Scotland and Wales, exchanges were up 30% year on year, but in the south-west were down 6%.
Today’s report finds the shift towards online agents continuing, with a 19% increase in market share meaning it now has 5.4% of the market, measured in terms of exchanges.
Colin Bradshaw, chief customer officer at TwentyCI, said: “The growth in online estate agents is testament to the power of advertising.
“We’ve seen the big players spending huge sums on TV and radio promotion.
“As the concept of online estate agents matures and consumers see more of their boards on display, it is likely that more people will see them as a credible alternative.
“That said, the online-only market is still a very small proportion of the overall market, so I doubt established agents are quaking in the boots yet – but now should not be the time for complacency either.”
Overall in the quarter, it says that in round figures, 261,000 exchanges took place.
Of this number, 246,667 were exchanges through high street agents, and 14,003 were exchanges through online firms.
A total of 64,000 deals fell through; 198,000 homes were withdrawn; and 271,000 were sold subject to contract.
A total of 308,104 properties, both sales and rentals, were new listings.