The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


Are signs of economic stress leaving the property market?

Posted on: April 21st, 2011 | Filed in Featured, Online marketing

Nearly two years ago I wrote a post asking the question “Have signs of distress left the property market?” – in retrospect this was a bit of an early call as since that time I am not sure we would collectively feel that we have yet got over the worst.

That article was written to analyse the searching behaviour of people using to seek out properties that were being sold with signs of distress and desperation as a function of the very severe economic conditions brought on by the Global Financial Crisis and our own recession.

Bringing this analysis up to date provides a perspective that things have improved – and some things have not!

Back in 2009 we examined 4 keywords that were being used in searches which we judged reflected an interest by eager buyers to find properties where the owners where suffering and in need of a fast sale. These words were: Motivated / Urgent / Desperate / Must Sell. The chart shows the tracking of the total for these 4 keywords over the past 2 years.

Clearly the searching for these keywords has fallen off – both in absolute terms (blue line) and as a proportion of all searches (red line). From the highs of 2009 when the rate of these searches was up to 150 per week the scale of such searches has calmed down to a level of less than one in every 200 searches.

However what is interesting is comparing the level of properties on the market which include these keywords.

Back in January 2009 there were 93 listings on the site using the word “Desperate“, 6 months later this had fallen to 67, now in April 2011 this is number is still 67!!

The phrase “Must sell” has 3,269 listings in January 2009, falling to 2,527 in July 2009 and today back up to 3,444!

The keyword “Urgent” showed up on 436 listings in January 2009, falling to 344 by July 2009 and today – up to 386!

The keyword of “Motivated” showed up on 1,377 listings in January 2009, falling to 1,080 by July and again today it has risen to 1,477.

So it would seem that whilst the urgency of buyers to seek out properties whose vendors are experiencing pressure of mounting financial stress has declined markedly over the past 2 years the use of these key emotive phrases by real estate agents on behalf of clients has not diminished.

Post your views