Buyer and seller demand rockets for next weekend's UK-wide Open House Weekend

Countrywide

Monday, May 24, 2010

Estate agents from across the country have combined to launch "The Big Kick Off", the UK's largest Open House event, which takes place on 5th and 6th June 2010.

Strong demand from buyers and tenants  have enabled Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agency and property services Group, to coordinate the two-day Open House event with 1,200 estate agency and lettings branches. Agents signed up to take part include some of the UK's top high street names, which include Bairstow Eves, Mann Countrywide, Taylors, Bridgfords, Abbotts, Gascoigne Pees, Slater Hogg & Howison, Entwistle Green and Fulfords.

More than 15,000 home owners and landlords are expected to sign up for the national football themed event, which kicks off before the World Cup begins and is the first event of its kind to feature both properties for sale and to rent.

Buyer and seller demand has continued to rise, with research recently issued by Countrywide revealing that the number of homeowners putting their properties up for sale has increased by 19 percent since the start of the year[1].

Robert Scarff, Managing Director of Countrywide's estate agency division said;

"The property market has remained relatively resilient over the last few months. The timing of this Open House event is crucial as buyer and tenant demand puts pressure on the market, before the start of the World Cup, where we expect the number of viewings and properties to ease whilst England remain in the tournament.

"We're seeing more people coming forward to list their homes on the market but demand still outstrips supply and Open House weekends are a hugely popular way to view the widest selection of properties available with ease. We have everything ranging from country homes and traditional family properties to cottages and modern city centre apartments with prices starting from £20,000 to £1,2million."

Strong rental demand has also seen a 36 percent increase in the number of new tenants applying for rental accommodation compared to the same period last year [2].

John Hards, Managing Director of Countrywide's letting division said;

"Demand for rental properties has rocketed over the last few months and this demand and a general shortage of properties is pushing up rental prices across the country. The Open House weekend is a great opportunity for tenants to snap up our latest selection of properties that are coming onto the market during the initiative. "

The event follows on from the huge success of Countrywide's first ever UK-wide Open House weekend in December 2009, which featured more than 11,000 properties and attracted over 27,000 viewings during the week of the event and thousands of offers.

Every Open House property taking part in the event is featured on www.propertywide.co.uk where visitors can also contact their local agent to find out more about the event in their area.

Examples of properties taking part in the Open House Weekend:

ENDS

Notes to the editor:

Countrywide is the UK's largest and most successful estate agency and property services Group, operating more than 1,200 associated branches across England, Scotland and Wales.

Countrywide's network of expertise helps more people move than any other business in the UK and is a leading provider of estate agency, lettings, mortgage services, land and new homes, franchising, auctions, surveying, conveyancing and corporate property management services.

Countrywide's award-winning service has earned the business 55 high-profile industry awards in the last two years, with customers voting Countrywide Best Large Estate Agency Chain and Best Large Lettings Chain at the 2010 Estate Agency of The Year Awards. Other awards include Best Estate Agency, Best Letting Agency and Best Land & New Homes Agent of the Year at the 2009 Negotiator Awards, and Best Surveyor & Valuer at the 2009 Mortgage Strategy Awards.

[1] Countrywide Market Appraisals - Jan - April 2010 vs Jan-April 2009

[2] Countrywide Residential Lettings - New applicants Jan -April 2010 v Jan - April 2009

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