The trend for house hunting between Christmas and New Year is on the up as technology gifts and having more spare time during holidays influence people’s buying habits.
Analysis of website visitors by Redrow Homes found a surge in traffic during the festive break each year for the last three years. Average daily web traffic for the homebuilder during ‘Twixmas’ week 2014 was 63% ahead of the rest of the year.
And the number of Twixmas house hunters last year was up 19%, compared to the same period in 2013, while daily web visitors were only up an average of 4% for other days of the year - evidence that the trend is rising faster than the market.
Dave Bexon, Group sales and marketing director for Redrow Homes, said: “The trend for Twixmas house hunting is steadily increasing. It coincides with the growth in use of tablet and mobile devices, which enable people to browse the internet wherever they are. As many people receive new technology as gifts, and take time off work between Christmas and New Year, we are seeing a significant upturn in our online visitors and are expecting that to be even more pronounced this year.
“The period also precedes January, traditionally one of the most popular months of the year to find a new home as people look to make a fresh start. Research shows that 80% of homebuyers start their property search online, using the internet to narrow down properties that fit their search criteria, so it’s no surprise people are already starting to do their research from December 26 before they undertake their first viewings in the New Year.”
Last year Redrow.co.uk received almost 1.4million visits in total, including 36,630 in the week after Christmas (December 26, 2014 to January 1, 2015).
The company has seen a jump in the proportion of web sessions accessed via mobile and tablet devices rather than desktop in the past three years with mobile and tablet sessions for 2015 so far at 60% of all user sessions compared to 52% in 2014 and just 43% in 2013.
Dave added: “We can certainly make the most of the increased number of web users by ensuring we communicate with our customers during this time and provide them with everything they need to know. Our website features image galleries and property films, so homebuyers can effectively tour our properties wherever they are. That’s in addition to in-depth facts about each development - location, local amenities, access to transport – and plenty of information about our property styles and layouts.”
According to Home.co.uk, the rapid growth of the internet over the last 10 years has changed the way people buy and sell residential property. In the UK around 80% of house hunters now use the web to start their search for property. According to traffic statistics expert Hitwise, around 1% of all internet traffic in the UK is property-related and the top four property portals entertain 16+ million user sessions per month.
Redrow continues to innovate in its use of digital marketing and the company also harnesses the power of the internet to enhance the homebuying process. My Redrow, the developer’s direct internet channel to customers, has also gone from strength to strength. It continues to lead the way in the housebuilding industry, providing customers with support from their initial search to moving into their new Redrow home. It also enables them to personalise their home by choosing from an extensive range of extras and upgrades for their home, which can all be ordered online.
For more information on the homes Redrow is building visit www.redrow.co.uk
Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, with a £1billion turnover and building more than 4,000 homes in 2014/15 financial year.
Operating across England and Wales, there is a strong emphasis on providing high quality homes in prime locations and its housing ranges feature designs to suit all lifestyles:
• The Heritage Collection combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors.
• The classically styled Regent Collection features Georgian inspired street scenes and architecture.
• Redrow has also launched a new brand of contemporary homes in Abode, which boast open plan layouts with streamlined kitchen, dining and lounge areas, high specification wet rooms and outdoor living space.
Redrow also creates exclusive bespoke developments in both rural and urban locations. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the What House? Awards 2015 and 2014, Best House Design at the Sunday Times British Home Awards 2015, the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year and five consecutive 5* awards in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey. Its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence. Web: www.redrow.co.uk