Online property market activity stats show impact of COVID-19 on European markets

online only estate agents

The latest research by Spotahome, the international rental marketplace, has revealed online visits and engagement by homebuyers and tenants across 28 European nations has fallen by an average of just -0.4% monthly since November last year. However, in the UK the decline has been greater at -4.1%, as many have been unable to follow through with their search due to the property industry lockdown.

The UK saw the eighth largest decline in online property market activity of 28 European countries based on the leading online portals for each nation, with just Malta, Croatia, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Italy, Belgium and Greece seeing a greater drop.

In contrast, Austria (7.8%), Finland (7.8%) and Sweden (7.4%) saw the highest average monthly increase in online property market activity.

Although many high street agents have tried to pivot with lockdown market restrictions, other fully digital platforms have remained largely unaffected, with Spotahome seeing website traffic increase consistently for seven straight weeks.

This is largely due to Spotahome’s operational foundation. Since its inception in 2014, Spotahome has focused on facilitating contactless rental moves without the need for in-person visits, instead allowing tenants to view the property via digital walkthroughs. Their long-established expertise in doing so has enabled them to allow tenants to carry on with their search and secure a place to live, either in their own country or abroad, despite social distancing measures.

With its ‘reopening’ last week, the UK property market is widely expected to bounce back. Data from Yomdel shows that so far this month, new enquiry volumes from landlords, homebuyers and tenants were already well above the 62-week pre-coronavirus lockdown levels. This high demand reflects the high proportion of the UK population that rents:the UK is home to the sixth highest proportion of renters of all 28 European nations; with 35% of us reliant on the sector to put a roof over our heads.

There should also be plenty of stock to satisfy this demand, as the latest figures show there are currently over 100,000 rental properties listed across the UK’s 23 major cities despite wider market conditions.

With an abundance of stock and high demand from UK and international tenants, Spotahome believes the UK rental market will see a swift return to form now that industry restrictions have eased. But will it be the market we recognise from prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus?

Rankings – average monthly change in total visits and engagement between November 2019 to April 2020
Nation
Property portal
Average monthly change (Nov19 to Apr20)
Austria
7.8%
Finland
7.8%
Sweden
7.4%
Estonia
5.9%
Czechia
5.9%
Denmark
4.3%
Netherlands
4.0%
Portugal
2.8%
Hungary
1.6%
Germany
1.2%
Romania
-0.2%
Lithuania
-0.2%
Slovakia
-0.5%
Poland
-0.7%
Latvia
-1.3%
Ireland
-1.5%
Spain
-1.8%
Cyprus
-2.0%
Bulgaria
-2.0%
France
-3.3%
United Kingdom
-4.1%
Malta
-5.0%
Croatia
-5.2%
Slovenia
-5.6%
Luxembourg
-6.2%
Italy
-6.3%
Belgium
-6.7%
Greece
-7.2%

 

 

Nation
Percentage of people that rent (%)
Germany
48.5
Austria
44.6
Denmark
39.5
Sweden
35.9
France
34.9
United Kingdom
34.9
Netherlands
31.0
Cyprus
29.9
Ireland
29.7
Luxembourg
28.8
Finland
28.4
Italy
27.6
Belgium
27.3
Greece
26.5
Portugal
25.5
Slovenia
24.9
Spain
23.7
Czechia
21.3
Latvia
18.4
Malta
18.4
Estonia
17.6
Bulgaria
16.4
Poland
16.0
Hungary
14.0
Lithuania
10.1
Croatia
9.9
Slovakia
8.7
Romania
3.6

 

 

City
Total listings (May 2020)
London
53,459
Oxford
1,460
Cambridge
810
Manchester
5,160
Liverpool
3,164
Birmingham
5,184
Nottingham
1,846
Leeds
4,981
Sheffield
2,797
Leicester
1,906
Newcastle
3,805
Southampton
2,619
Portsmouth
943
Bournemouth
1,073
Plymouth
951
Bristol
1,481
Cardiff
2,508
Swansea
1,188
Newport
193
Glasgow
1,690
Edinburgh
2,521
Aberdeen
1,256
Belfast
24
All cities
101013
Rental stock figures sourced from Rightmove and Zoopla

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