Collapsing sales balance out record levels of interest for property portal 

Last month was the busiest January on record for Rightmove. 

Last month was the busiest January on record for Rightmove. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Rightmove recorded its busiest January ever last month, with more than 211 million visits to the site - though it also saw an increased number of collapsed sales.  

The property portal had a 39 per cent uplift in visits year-on-year, while time spent on the site rose by 44 per cent to over 1.6 billion minutes.  

The proportion of sales that fell through in January was up 7 per cent on a year ago however, a possible sign of buyers losing confidence in completing their purchase before the stamp duty holiday deadline.  

New listings were also down by 21 per cent on 2020’s figures, with the latest lockdown (and the homeschooling that’s come with it) believed to be key to the delay of some moves. The fact that last January saw a post-election boost in activity is another factor.

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “It’s clear that more people than ever before used the new year as a chance to start thinking about moving home... but we are seeing the effect of lockdown on the number of properties coming to market.  

“Those looking to trade-up to a bigger home may find there isn’t as much choice as before in this sector of the market until kids start going back to school.”  

He added: “We’re starting to see fall throughs creep up a bit, though not by a substantial amount, a sign that some deals may be falling apart as they know they won’t complete in time to make the stamp duty holiday deadline.”