A number of changes are afoot in the market in coming weeks, which could make 2015 one of the most transformational years the property market has seen since the emergence of properties for sale websites in the 1990’s.
Over the last few years three main portals; Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location have dominated the majority of mass market property promotion. These portals have enjoyed immense success to the tune of stock market flotations and had been considered attractive investments due to their high margin business models.
In the face of cost saving pressures and the general frustration of many Estate Agents about the portals’ stranglehold on their businesses, new cooperation has been achieved with the launch of ‘On the Market’, a site built for agents with their commercial interests at its heart.
The launch of the site has erupted a huge debate in the property community, as any agent wishing to join the site will be restricted to only listing their stock on one other portal. This key point has triggered a hasty retreat by hundreds of selling agents from the main portals and has fundamentally changed where stock is listed, in turn spreading it far and wide across multiple portals.
The launch of this site is truly a game changer and most of the public are still unaware as to how much the process of home searching is about to be disrupted. The task of finding the right property is about to become more complex and challenging for buyers. Buyers will no longer be able to assume that, by looking on several significant websites, they have seen all options available.
Add into the mix a series of high profile entrepreneurs and venture capital firms, that are throwing their financial might behind disruptive internet estate agent businesses, and you have a perfect storm for a fractured market and a confused consumer.
Separate to this and particularly in the prime market, we are also seeing increasing droves of vendors wanting to sell ‘Off the Market’ with over half of the properties our clients have purchased in the last 3 months being sourced through this route.
We live in interesting times and 2015 is likely to reveal the start of trends as to what the future of buying and selling homes in the UK looks like.
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