Recent studies conducted by the estate agent comparison website, GetAgent.co.uk, have brought to light a dramatic surge in Google searches for ‘gazundering’, pointing to a market that is increasingly tilting in favour of buyers across the nation due to tempering market conditions.
The analysis performed by GetAgent.co.uk focused on Google search queries related to selling homes, aiming to pinpoint which terms have experienced the most pronounced growth in search interest since the dawn of 2023. This was measured based on Google’s ‘interest score’, a metric that signifies the interest level compared to the highest point of search popularity during a specific period and location. This score doesn’t convey the total volume of searches but reflects the popularity of a term, with a score of 100 marking peak popularity.
The findings reveal a notable trend for the year so far (January to September), with ‘gazundering’ taking the lead by recording a 97% jump in search interest since January. Gazundering, a tactic employed by buyers to lower their offer during the late stages of a deal, compelling the seller to concede to a lesser amount, becomes prevalent particularly when the market is starved of buyer demand. This phenomenon stands in contrast to ‘gazumping’, which takes precedence when sellers have the upper hand.
Furthermore, searches for the ‘best estate agent’ have seen a 17.4% climb since the beginning of the year. This trend highlights sellers’ awareness that engaging a proficient agent is crucial to achieving a prompt sale at a favourable price, especially when market conditions are not ideal.
Search interest in ‘property chain’ has also risen, showing an 8.5% increase. The cooling market has led to elongated property chains, triggering stress among prospective buyers and sellers. This anxiety is well-grounded, as recent studies indicate a more than 10% spike in collapsed sales within a mere quarter.
Additionally, the protraction in sales timelines has nudged ‘conveyancing’ searches up by 1.9%, suggesting a growing desire among both parties to grasp the intricacies of this time-intensive segment of the transaction.
However, not all search terms related to real estate have enjoyed increased attention. Interest in ‘house valuation’ has taken a 31.8% nosedive since January, with economic instability discouraging sellers from entering the market. Other terms that have lost ground include ‘capital gains tax’ (down by 29.4%), ‘stamp duty’ (falling 16.9%), and ‘house price’ (reducing by 13.5%).
In light of these trends, Colby Short, co-founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, stated, “It’s not so long ago that we saw an unprecedented rise in gazumping in the UK market, with desperate buyers swooping in to outbid each other at the last minute. But now that market conditions have changed in the face of economic uncertainty, the power dynamic seems to have shifted in favour of the buyer. Hence the rising interest in ‘gazundering’ as buyers have made a last-ditch offer for a lower price than originally agreed.”
Short also pointed out the significant growth in searches for the ‘best’ estate agent, noting, “When conditions get tougher, we see sellers and buyers turn their attention to finding the best possible professional to help them navigate the journey and best protect their interests. It’s times like this when great agents are needed the most and, as such, they really start making a name for themselves.”
These insights underscore the dynamic nature of the property market and the need for both buyers and sellers to stay informed and strategically adapt to shifting conditions. With the assistance of adept professionals, they can better navigate these uncertainties and complete successful transactions.