Searching Online for Property
New figures show that the main three property websites have increased their share of the market. The internet is increasingly becoming the place for property buyers to search for the best deals.
Growth of Online Property Sites
Data from Hitwise shows that 61% of visitors to online property sites went to one of the main three: Rightmove, PrimeLocation and Zoopla. Over the past few years, these sites have begun to dominate the market and are generally the first places people think to look. In 2011, the sites had only a 49% share of the market. However, the gap between the two leading sites, Rightmove and Zoopla, is closing. In the past year, Zoopla has increased its share by 36%, while Rightmove has only grown by 18%.
At the moment, this is a fairly closed market. There are a number of smaller property sites available, but they have struggled to gain any significant share from the top three. However, one group of leading estate agents is attempting to do just that. Agents? Mutual was established last year by six agents who wanted an alternative option to paying the listing fees of the other sites. Even though the site is yet to launch, they are looking to grow the business significantly. Their aim is for the site to encompass around 10,000 agents across the country within five years.
An Alternative Approach
When you?re looking for a new property, it?s all too easy to head to one of the three main sites. However, by limiting yourself to this approach you could be missing out on your dream property with wrought iron balconies or a bargain buy that needs doing up. As well as the main property websites, there are also a number of smaller sites that take a different approach to property searching or have a more specialist angle.
Find a Hood uses 10 different elements to help you describe your perfect location, whether that?s the choice of schools or low crime rates. It then uses statistics to recommend 15 places that might appeal to you.
Property Network takes information from your Facebook profile to work out where you would enjoy living. By analysing where you?ve checked in, your likes, work status, education and interests, it can provide you with choices of suitable areas.
Whitehot Property is the site to head to if you?re looking for repossession properties. The lenders usually want to sell these quickly, so you might be able to pick up a bargain.
Unmodernised is a good site if you want to renovate a property. If you dream of adding wrought iron balconies with views over the countryside or turning a wreck into your dream home, then this site can help you. All the properties are either in need of refurbishment work or come with planning consent.
Searching for a new property online isn?t as straightforward as it first appears. Whatever your dream home looks like, there will be a website available that can help you narrow down your choices