London returns to top spot in buyer search ranking ‒ Rightmove
Cornwall and Devon both recorded decreases of 18% and 17% respectively but still maintained second and third position apiece.
London reported 36% more buyer searches than Cornwall at the end of the year, which was the biggest gap since 2019. This compares to a 3% gap last year.
Rightmove said that this could show a reversal of the pandemic trend of people looking for homes outside of cities in the countryside or by the coast.
It added that this trend could continue into 2023, with searches for homes in cities outstripping country or coastal property searches.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert, said: “This year people searching for their next home have well and truly returned to the capital – we started to see the tide turning towards the end of last year, and throughout 2022 a lot of our trends in the market have started to head back towards where they were in 2019.
“As we head into the festive period, we’re anticipating our traditional Boxing Day bounce in search activity, where more future home-movers log onto Rightmove after spending Christmas with friends and family, and begin thinking about where they could live next year.”
He said that Rightmove was hearing from agents they were getting properties ready for sale on Boxing Day ready for those starting their searches in January, which he said was typically a busier period.
Bannister continued: “We’ve seen a group of people using the past few months to assess their options and consider what they can afford, and they could be spurred on next year should fixed-rate mortgages drop as anticipated.
“Tenants have shown through their search behaviour how appealing a home with bills included could be. Any landlord who is able to offer this added incentive next year, is likely to be met with an orderly queue of ready-to-go tenants to choose from.”
Scotland takes top five spots for quickest market to buy
The report said that Livingston in West Lothian, Scotland was the quickest market, with homes securing a buyer in an average of 15 days.
All the top five areas were in Scotland, with Bo’ness in West Lothian and Larbert in Stirlingshire taking second or third place.
Picket Piece in Hampshire was the quickest market outside of Scotland with homes finding a buyer within 16 days.
Rental market ‘most competitive market on record’
Rightmove added that this was the “most competitive rental market on record”, with demand far outstripping supply.
It said that at one point there were quadruple the number of tenants asking about properties as there were places to rent.
Searches for bills rose 57% compared to last year, which Rightmove said showed greater concern from tenants around energy bills.