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‘Open house’ frenzy has abated says OTM within latest market sentiment report

Sometimes a divider of opinion among agents, open houses have proved a popular way to manage huge demand for viewings during the housing boom.

Nigel Lewis

open house sign

The phenomenon of busy ‘open house’ events that emerged during the early days of the recent property sales boom has now largely ended, portal OnTheMarket has claimed.

Its latest Property Sentiment Index, which was launched in July as an alternative to its rivals’ house price indexes, includes comments from CEO Jason Tebb that “one positive note for buyers was feedback from many agents across the UK that the trend we’d seen in previous months of fully booked ‘open house’ days followed by multiple bids above asking price within twenty-four hours has now abated”.

Open house events, which are a relatively recent US import that work well during both lulls and spikes of housing demand to either stimulate offers or manage viewings, were banned by Covid rules during the worst days of the pandemic.

Highly competitive

Link to news of Movers & ShakersBut although Tebb (pictured) says open houses are no longer so popular, OTM’s index, which covers data from last month, reveals a market that is still highly competitive ‘especially for family homes in the popular school catchment areas’.

“With the much-vaunted Budget at the end of the month amounting to quite a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ affair in terms of housing, the headlines of rising inflation throughout October seemed to be the only cloud coming over the horizon, but certainly not enough of a shadow during the month to perturb those whose plans to move were already in motion,” says Tebb.

“We saw evidence of this in the number of properties that were Sold Subject To Contract (SSTC) within 30 days of first being listed in October, with a very slight increase on the previous month.”

Agent Scott Holley of Edinburgh firm Galbraith says “the ‘frenzy’ we saw earlier in the year has somewhat reduced and buyers are now taking a more circumspect view, rather than rushing to ‘just buy anything’.”

Arguably the two most active promoters of open house events are Countrywide, which holds an annual promotional event, and Foxtons.

Read the OTM report in full.

November 10, 2021

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