Brits spent Boxing Day web surfing for property rather than holidays

boxing day property searching - Image by Jens Neumann of Pixabay

Boxing Day 2021 saw Brits more likely to go online to search for their dream home than to hunt down a summer holiday bargain, according to new research released today.

There were significantly more searches for property-related terms than for travel over the period 26 Dec 2021 – 1 Jan 2022: 1,278,233 vs 848,574, suggesting that predictions of a “Boxing Day Boom” for property were correct. 

Meanwhile Rightmove saw a 30% rise in traffic over the same period, and remained the most searched for property portal.

Pre-COVID times, we’d all usually be searching for a summer holiday, which helps get us through the dismal winter months. 

Boxing Day searches

The period saw online searches for ‘houses for sale’ rise by a fifth (20%) compared to the post-Christmas period in 2020, while searches for ‘rental properties’ jumped even more (up by 49%).

Online searches for ‘travel’ during this period fell by 7% compared to the same week in 2020, which was already down a colossal 52% on 2019, for obvious pandemic-related reasons.

The analysis was carried out by online search expert MediaVision, using its proprietary Digital Demand Tracker tool that analyses search data from AdWords and Google Trends.

It also found that searches in the tech category dropped by 22% in the week post-Christmas compared to last year, which had seen a 29% increase compared to 2019 as people looked for gadgets to help them get by as they worked from home.

Home exercising equipment felt the brunt of the fall, with searches for ‘exercise bike’ plummeting by 73% and ‘treadmill’ down by 52%. 

There were also signs that people were looking to shift unwanted presents, with searches for second-hand tech goods retailer ‘CeX’ up by 37%.

Other categories also failed to register as much excitement and activity as they might have wished to see at the start of the Boxing Day sales. 

Searches for beauty products fell 18% compared to 2020 and fashion searches fell by 9%.

Louis Venter, CEO at MediaVision, said: “Many people used to start planning for next year’s holidays immediately after Christmas, but the data for 2021 suggests holidaymakers are still wary of travelling given the continuing Omicron-driven restrictions in many countries.

“Interest in moving home, however, is definitely on the rise and people began searching online as soon as the last of the turkey was finished. 

“It’s still unclear if this will be a permanent trend or just the effects of the pandemic hitting the travel sector more.

“The data also suggests that there was still some caution when it came to the post-Christmas sales, particularly for tech products. 

“It’s likely that many of us bought our home-working gadgets at the height of lockdown in 2020 instead.”