UK buyers searching for homes in a far flung destination have been looking towards Australia which has seen a surge as thoughts turn to emigrating, according to the latest monthly report from Rightmove Overseas.
Overall some 59.08% of destinations saw a rise in searches in December, 40.87% saw a fall in searches and 0.05% of destinations saw no change in the number of searches. Many regions in Australia saw an increase, most notably Queensland and Tasmania, up 44% and 315% respectively and New Zealand also saw an increase, rising to 11th place in the search table.
Ski destinations also saw an increase in activity with the French regions of Rhone-Alps and Haute-Savoie both seeing a month on month increase of 30%. Switzerland and Austria also experienced an increase. Many European destinations saw a fall in searches, most notably the Algarve in Portugal and the Ionian islands in Greece, together with Turkey.
‘Around the end of each year, we traditionally see a surge of searches for long haul emigration destinations and the end of 2012 was no exception,’ said Shameem Golamy, head of Rightmove Overseas. Using the internet to search for properties is becoming more popular and real estate related searches on Google have grown 253% over the past four years, according to a joint study from the National Association of Realtors in the United States and Google.
It found that buyers used specific online tools at different points during their home search process. Buyers tend to rely on search engines and general websites when they begin their search, use maps more in the middle of the process, and engage mobile applications most toward the end of their search.
It also found that mobile devices are significantly changing the way people search for homes. Some 48% of people who used a mobile device in their home search used the device to get directions to homes for sale, and 45% used the device to request more information about specific home features or real estate services. ‘Increasingly, online technologies are driving offline behaviours, and home buying is no exception,’ said Google’s head of real estate Patrick Grandinetti.
‘With 90% of home buyers searching online during their home buying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information, for example through paid search, relevant websites, video environments, and mobile applications,’ he added.
Quote from PropertyCommunity.com : “New home sales in Australia fell to a 15 year low in August and more interest rate cuts are needed to boost the residential property sector it is claimed. The latest figures show that sales of new properties fell 5.3% in August.”
Meanwhile British builder Redrow Homes says that the number of people searching for homes online is increasing and it has found that most people look for a new home in September, followed by August and then March and April. Kim Peters, sales and marketing director for Redrow Homes, said that websites are becoming increasingly important. The firm launched a new consumer website in 2012 making it easier for customers to find the home they want, while enhanced behind the scenes tracking enables the company to analyse the data more efficiently and effectively.
‘At Redrow we pride ourselves on building high quality homes designed for family living. The website is the first point of call for many potential buyers looking to find out what’s available. By analysing our web stats we can begin to paint an interesting picture of the nation’s home buying habits,’ she explained.