Update for June vs May 2021
- Web sessions: down 14.4%
- High-intent goal completions: down 11.6%
Appearing at a casual glance to indicate a troubling shift in the market, the downward turn in web sessions and high intent goals seen in the past few months was to be expected following the highs of March, where the announcement of the stamp duty holiday extension swelled interest and conversion volumes. Rather than heralding a tighter market therefore, this decline perhaps merely presages a return to the status quo ante, as government support for the sector is gradually withdrawn and then pent-up demand from 2020 is traded through.
June sat at about 63% the size of March in terms of web sessions and 60% of goals. In addition to the June 30 step change to the SDLT relief, it’s likely that availability or the increasing lack thereof has played a part in the changes to the NHI. As well as reducing the visible product on websites which might encourage consumers to convert, availability issues are influencing investment and channel selection decisions by developers. Focus is shifting away from awareness driving activity and database driving pursuits; witnessed in channel mix reports where organic and direct sessions are seeing above average shares of traffic in the past month while relative volumes of paid traffic have fallen over the same period.
Looking at daily averages, the first week of July points towards increasing conversion rates with web sessions remaining fairly consistent month on month and a slight growth (c.1.5%) in high-intent goals.
As the market regroups following the urgency of turning enquiries into completions in the past quarter, and as a measure of the uncertainty in working arrangements abates with easing of Covid restrictions, we may see a more traditional gradual increase in both metrics in early Autumn as typically seen most years prior to 2020. In keeping with this return to traditional seasonality however, we might also predict a relatively quiet August for the sector as Britons avail themselves of their increased freedoms and find more diverting occupations than visiting show homes.
(Real Estate (Topic, UK)
Despite a steady decline in search volume for relevant key words over the last three months, June saw a significantly higher share of sessions driven by organic search than seen in the twelve-month average. A similar increase in the share of direct traffic and a corollary drop in the share of social and paid search sessions is indicative of shifting investment behavior through the month.