The areas of the UK that offer the most virtual viewings

Property Reporter
10th June 2021

The UK property market and the way in which we purchase property has changed a lot over the last 18 months. Pre-Covid, the idea of remotely or virtually viewing a property was not common, yet here we are today.

Despite the obvious increased need for virtual viewings, just 4% of total properties listed offer buyers the opportunity to view virtually before committing to a physical viewing.

Newly released research by virtual property viewings platform, U-See Homes, has revealed which UK cities offer homebuyers the most opportunity to view a home in a virtual capacity.

According to the data, in some cities, virtual availability was far higher and Newport ranks as the UK’s virtual viewings property hotspot. Across Newport, 17% of all homes currently listed for sale provided potential buyers with the chance to view virtually from the comfort of their home.

Manchester also ranks as one of the UK’s virtual viewing hotspots, with 16% of all current properties for sale in the city offering buyers a digital dive into a home before heading there in person.

At 13% and 10% respectively, Liverpool and Leicester join Newport and Manchester as the only other two cities where virtual viewing stock availability hits double figures.

However, Sunderland (8%), Edinburgh and Aberdeen (7%) were also home to some of the highest levels of virtual viewing availability, as were Birmingham, Cardiff and Bradford (6%).

In contrast, just 2% of properties listed for sale in Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, and Sheffield offered the addition of a virtual viewing, with Newcastle and London (3%) also coming in below the UK benchmark.

Simon Dempsey, heads of marketing for U-See Homes, says: “Virtual viewings have long been a great addition to the digital advertising armoury of estate agents, but the threat of Covid-19 has seen them evolve to serve a far more important purpose than marketing collateral alone.

"The ability to view a property in a virtual capacity has allowed many buyers to reduce the number of physical viewings undertaken during the homebuying process, which in turn has prevented unnecessary contact with additional households throughout the pandemic.

"Despite this, just four per cent of homes currently listed for sale offer the ability to view a home virtually, suggesting that many agents still fail to see the added value of incorporating them into their advertising portfolio.

"There are a wealth of excellent virtual viewings platforms out there but it’s perhaps fair to say that they haven’t been used to their full potential and this is probably why many agents are yet to fully embrace this technology.

"Creating a better experience for both buyer and agent was the driving factor behind the creation of U-See Homes. Our goal was to provide a more immersive experience whereby both buyer and agent can discuss a property in real-time, just as they would during a physical viewing, with the added function of pulling in additional documents such as an EPC if required.

"Should the property fail to impress, the agent can swiftly move onto the next one and by using a comprehensive virtual platform to whittle down the initial list of potential properties, both agent and buyer can save a considerable amount of time when searching for the perfect home.”

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