Interest in online property portals drops, but hybrid workspaces surge

property portal report mediavision 1

New data shows that the UK’s leading online property portals, which saw a surge in interest last year due to the stamp duty holiday and lessened Covid restrictions, have now seen activity decline heavily over the first six months of 2022.

Property search decline

The volume of online searches for ‘Rightmove’ fell by 9% compared to 2021, searches for ‘Zoopla’ fell 20% and for ‘Yopa’ by 12%. 

By comparison, all three brands saw online activity surge last year compared to 2020 (searches for Rightmove were up 29%, Zoopla up 24% and Yopa up 24%).

Interest in other portals also fell this year to date in comparison to 2021 – ‘OnTheMarket’ searches have dropped 14%, ‘Boomin’ by 25%, ‘PrimeLocation’ by 27% and ‘Purple Bricks’ by 3%.

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.

Shared workspace interest rises

However, the data also revealed that interest in companies providing shared working spaces continues to rise as businesses look for new approaches to hybrid working. 

Online searches for ‘WeWork’ more than doubled (up 144%) in the first six months of 2022 compared to last year, while searches for ‘Workspace’ rose by nearly a third (32%), as did searches for ‘Instant Offices’ (up 30%).

Many of the UK’s leading commercial property agents also saw increases in online interest this year as shoppers return to the high street and commuters head back to the office. 

Searches for ‘CBRE’ rose 20% in the first half of the year compared to 2021, while ‘Bidwells’ (up 32%), ‘Carter Jonas’ (up 8%) and ‘Cushman & Wakefield’ (up 19%) also saw greater online activity.

Louis Venter, CEO at MediaVision, said: “No one benefitted from the surge in demand last year more than property portals. 

“The uptick in performance and interest was significant, but this year a decline in brand searches more accurately reflects the market.

“Reports across the board indicate that properties are taking longer to sell in 2022. Combined with a lack of stock driving continued house price growth, it means portals are seeing online activity plateau and, in many cases, fall away.

“The commercial property market, on the other hand, is recovering nicely in 2022. 

“The rumour was that WFH was going to be the death of the office, but demand says otherwise. 

“Of course, the number of people engaging in hybrid working has increased dramatically this year and the growth of interest in flexible co-working spaces highlights that demand.”