“Fear of Missing Out” Driving UK Home-Hunters

Statistics and Reports

As buyers “FOMO” changes property search patterns

The huge boom in the PropTech movement in recent years has made it easier than ever before for buyers and sellers to cut out the middle man and embrace peer-to-peer property transactions. But the dominance of the UK’s agent-only property portals, Rightmove and Zoopla, has meant that private house sales have achieved relatively niche appeal compared to the traditional estate agency model.

While High Street agents still hold a sizable majority of the market, it seems that buyers’ “fear of missing out” or “FOMO” is driving them to seek out For Sale By Owner properties on new, alternative platforms. Data from inclusive property marketplace The House Shop reveals that, on average, a For Sale By Owner listing on their site generates 7.5 times more traffic than an agency listing – showing how demand for private listings is fuelling the company’s success.

A recent YouGov survey of over 2000 GB adults, commissioned by The House Shop, found that almost half of Brits (46% excluding “don’t know”s) want to see properties available direct from private sellers when searching for a new home. 77% of respondents wanted to see properties from High Street agents, while just over two thirds (68%) wanted to see listings from online estate agents.

YOUGOV SURVEY RESULTS

Question Asked: When searching for a new home to buy or rent online, which of the following would you be interested in seeing property listings from?

*Results have been re-based to remove “don’t know”s

The results show that modern home-hunters are increasingly looking for a more diverse and inclusive approach to finding and advertising property.

Nick Marr, co-founder of The House Shop, comments on the changing dynamics in the property industry and why “fear of missing out” is driving buyers to seek out inclusive platforms that offer more choice:

“It’s great to see rising demand and interest in DIY and peer-to-peer property transactions, but they still hold a relatively small share of the total market. There will always be a big role to play for traditional estate agents and we work with thousands of agents up and down the country to showcase their listings to our audience.”

“Ultimately, buyers want to see the widest possible selection of properties, and it is the “fear of missing out” that is driving more and more people to visit alternative, inclusive platforms like our own during their property search.”

“The House Shop has really benefitted from the fact that buyers cannot find For Sale By Owner listings on the big portals, and our unique mix of private and agency listings have been key to our success.”

“We’ve taken an inclusive approach to everything we do and we’re proud to work with both traditional and online estate agents alongside our private sellers and landlords. We tend to work with smaller estate agencies who may not be able to afford the costly monthly subscription fees for both Rightmove and Zoopla. I think the fact that we can offer free exposure to an alternative audience is really attractive for a lot of smaller agencies.”

The House Shop’s own data analysis shows that the median number of listings per branch among their agency users is 33 – far smaller than the hundreds, or even thousands, of listings per branch you would find in the Foxtons or Savills of the world.

With modern home-hunters demanding increasingly integrated solutions to property search, choice-based models like The House Shop could be the way forward.

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