Tech of a Life Edition One: Consumer search- the trends on the rise


2021 was certainly a transformative year for the property market and the increased popularity of auction went a long way to cement the fact that it has a key role to play in all market conditions. But was it just market conditions driving demand for auction?

Working from Home: a Young Woman USing a Digital Tablet to Read/Watch Something

We saw a real shift in demand for online auction across the year, with our auction service iamsold reporting record breaking results, not just in capital value raised, but with record numbers of consumers interacting with the service via online views and bids right across the UK. In 2020 bids across the year for iamsold auction properties totalled 28,044, compared with 2021 bids hitting a record high of 55,434. Heading into 2022 we saw no sign of this movement slowing down, with iamsold, recording 4,881 bids in January alone.

What does the data tell us? Google Trend data*

Shows us that the rising popularity in online auction isn’t new, and it’s not just related to market conditions. Consumer interest in ‘Modern Method of Auction’ has been steadily on the rise for the past three years, with a rise of 130% in consumer search when comparing January 2019 to January 2022. Search data for ‘buying a house at auction’ has more than doubled when comparing June 2019 to the same period in 2021 and from 2018 to 2022 consumer searches for information around ‘selling a house at auction’ are up by 40%.


What’s triggering the demand for auction?

Whilst we know that the past two years have had a unique set of circumstances, with unprecedented demand and low stock levels, it’s not just 2020 and 2021 that showed that Estate Agents are turning to auction to meet the changing needs of their clients and to support their own business. We’ve seen this trend over the last five years, with auction sales continuing to rise year-on-year.

Today’s buyers and sellers want more; more choice which matches their individual circumstances and online solutions that offer speed and security. With Private Treaty completion timescales currently at an average of 125 days, auction should be a big part of the solution for the property market. Even before the pandemic began, 69% of homeowners** surveyed thought the home buying and selling process needed to change, to be quicker and more transparent with more choice and better communication.


Are consumers more aware of what auction has to offer?

Historically, auctions were known to appeal more to investors and property developers, but we saw this demographic shift further during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns, as homeowners rushed to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday. The more consumers that experience auction the more they share their stories of success and start to change the narrative. We can see this shift with an increase in positive Trustpilot reviews for auction, which are up by 39% when comparing 2020 to 2021***.

We sold over 5,000 properties last year with an increase to the average selling price of 19% in 2021, when compared with 2020 averages, proving real versatility in the types of properties available at auction. Another driver helping to change the narrative that auction is just for the minority.

Auction offers a real benefit to so many buyers and sellers. And, with the property market starting 2022 with record breaking transaction numbers, we hope to see this exploration of auction as an alternative method of sale continue to rise over the year, with more demand driving auction success across the industry

* **2020 survey of 672 consumers
*** Taken from total number of reviews for auction 2020 v 2021, for three star and above


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