The UK property market is experiencing a surge in demand for digital/online viewings driven by the global health pandemic and social norms redefining “social distancing.” There is heightened adoption of online tools for property viewings among home buyers in the last two weeks.

With estate agents now closed, deemed ‘not essential’ in the latest government briefings to the industry body ARLA Propertymark (formerly The Association of Residential Lettings Agents), physical viewing opportunities have been impacted. In fact, physical viewings and house moves are not encouraged, as expected given the ‘social distancing’ policy.

Given the shortening supply, and the inability of buyers to access properties by conventional means, online viewing activity has soared as millions of stay-at-home workers seek desired properties using online property portals. Such volumes are reminiscent of the post-Christmas period which gave rise to two months of markedly strong growth in the housing market, with price rises in January and February at the highest level for four years.

Online viewing streamlines the process of narrowing down locations, neighbourhoods, communities, developments and housing to live in. At the landmark Bronze development in Wandsworth for instance, or the Greenview Court development in Southall in London, buyers are able to explore properties through virtual tours from any location simultaneously before opting to invest, hence saving both time and money.

With Savills standing by five-year forecasts of 15% growth in the medium term in the face of this crisis, driven by record low-interest rates & the swift response from the government to protect jobs and earning, savvy buyers continue to adopt online viewing apace.