Rightmove has reported its busiest ever month for traffic, with visits up by 21m in January compared to the same month last year.
The property portal also says that leads to agents and developers reached a new record high of more than 4.9m.
The surge in traffic follows a decline in available stock for sale, meaning it is likely that visitors could not find many new listings to browse.
There were over 127m visits to Rightmove last month, up by around 20% on January 2015 and surpassing the previous record of 118m set in August last year.
Rightmove Reports Busiest Ever Month for Traffic in January
Phone and email leads also beat a past record of more than 4.8m set in July 2015.
In total, Britons spent the equivalent of over 2,000 years browsing Rightmove in January. The busiest day was Tuesday 26th, which saw 4.7m visits.
Additionally, page views for the month hit a new record of 1.7 billion, meaning that people searched through more than 1m more pages of property than in January last year.
The most popular areas that people searched for were London, Bristol, Cambridge and Milton Keynes.
Miles Shipside, the Director of Rightmove, comments on the data: “These January statistics should give both sales and letting agents confidence that an active year with plenty of business opportunities lies ahead.
“While January is usually a very busy month for home hunting, the scale of these records shows just how habitual Rightmove has become when people are starting their property search.”
He continues: “As Rightmove is the only place where people can search over 1m properties for sale and to rent, it’s clear that buyers, renters, sellers and landlords are all using us to search the whole market.
“The busiest ever start to the year gives a very confident outlook for the coming months, with some of the surge possibly coming from investors looking to make last minute deals before the changes to Stamp Duty come in on April 1st, as well as first time buyers looking to see if any of the schemes could help them get a foot on the property ladder.”1
We recently reported that landlords are rushing into the market ahead of buy-to-let tax changes this year. Find out more about the forthcoming amendments here: /landlords-rushing-to-avoid-buy-to-let-tax-changes/
Additionally, the Help to Buy London scheme launched at the start of this month, which could create heightened activity in the capital.