Spring is officially here, bringing warmer weather, longer days – and a record number of home-hunters with it.

A new record was set on Rightmove by home-movers last week, with more than 9.1 million visits in one day. That’s an average of 6,500 visits every minute!

The spring selling season has started at a level not seen in a decade, with the highest number of sales being agreed on Tuesday 23rd March than any other day in the past ten years.

New sellers have also jumped into action, with the highest daily number of new properties coming up for sale so far this year.

Our property expert Tim Bannister says: “The promise of better weather on the way as we move in to spring, hopefully an easing of restrictions, and kids now back in school have all helped boost listing numbers. As we head into half-term agents are reporting a frenzy of activity in some areas, with multiple offers from buyers at asking price and above.”

Record numbers of home buyers are also visiting our site as many of us search for more room for working from home or a property with some outside space or a garden.

One estate agent in Saffron Walden has told us they arranged 18 viewings within 24 hours of a £1.2 million property which is now set to go to best and final offers. Bruce King, Director of Cheffins also says that the number of London buyers looking to move to the Essex market town has more than doubled since this time last year.

“The past few months has been one of the busiest markets we have seen in years as the combination of lockdown, the stamp duty holiday and the 5% mortgage scheme has created the perfect conditions for buyers to look to move house. We have seen bidding wars on multiple properties,” he said.

Rise in the number of chain-free properties available to home buyers

We are also seeing signs of more home-owners selling up and moving into rental properties right now, so they are in a stronger buying position when their dream home comes up for sale.

Compared to last year there has been an increase from 15% to 21% in the proportion of available properties up for sale on Rightmove that are chain-free.

The shift is most marked in London where the percentage of chain-free homes has jumped from 12% this time last year to 21% now.

Those who are selling up may also be taking advantage of securing the best price for their home while the stamp duty holiday is in place as an incentive for their buyers, and others who have chosen to move out of a city may be planning to rent first to make sure country life is definitely for them.

Our property expert Tim Bannister says: “The flexibility of renting gives people the chance to ‘try before you buy’ in a new area and so those who have chosen to move to the countryside may be selling their house chain-free to then rent and take time to decide if the good life is definitely for them.

“Selling chain-free is perhaps something some owners hadn’t considered as a possibility before now, but with the competitive market and stock shortage we currently have they’re trying to put themselves in a more attractive position when their dream home comes along. In the capital there are also some landlords who are selling up now, which could open up an opportunity for some first-time buyers looking for their first home.”

Celebrating the flexibility of renting

As a renter, you have the freedom and flexibility to explore different places, and different property types, in a way that homeownership just can’t match. It means that as your needs change, where you call home can also change.

Our new TV advert brings this idea to life, following a renter on her journey to ‘find what’s right for right now’, as she settles in, stays out and snaps up the dream job in Wensleydale!

Look out for our new advert, on screens from Thursday 1st April, during TV shows such as Gogglebox, Bake Off, Taskmaster, The Celebrity Circle, First Dates Hotel and The Doghouse.

Hit play on the video to check it out:

We would love to hear what you think! Let us know by tweeting us @rightmove

READ MORE: The average cost of first-time buyer homes across Britain right now

The header image is provided courtesy of Foxtons in Putney

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