The top 10 most virtually toured properties during lockdown

Property seekers have been using virtual tours to explore a massive variety of homes since lockdown began.

It’s not just multi-million pound luxury flats and manor houses they’ve been looking at either, as this list of the top 10 most popular virtual tours at OnTheMarket shows.

OnTheMarket looked at the 3D tours that have been most taken since strict social distancing measures to combat coronavirus came into full effect on 24 March.

A central London townhouse priced at £28,000,000 was the most popular virtual tour and also the most expensive property on the list.

But OnTheMarket users have also been checking out a three-bedroom end of terrace new build in Gillingham for sale at £285,000, the cheapest in the top 10 and within the reach of many first time buyers, which came in at number three.

A 12-bedroom detached house in Buckinghamshire with a swimming pool and cinema priced at £8,250,000 was the second most clicked on virtual tour.

There are some unusual properties on the list, including a four-bedroom converted water tower in West Sussex on the market with a guide price of £850,000, and a five-bedroom former mill in Oswestry, Shropshire, for sale at £500,000.

The geographical spread of the properties is also very wide, ranging from a four-bedroom penthouse in Charing Cross priced at £16,250,000 to homes in Mid Devon, Cheshire, Oban in Western Scotland and the Outer Hebrides.

That last property, named Taigh na Coille on the island of North Uist, is a recently built four-bedroom detached home with sea views and more than five acres of land.

The vendors are inviting offers over £325,000 and the virtual tour is the ninth most popular on the list.

Using 3D cameras to create virtual walk-throughs of properties which would-be buyers can take at their leisure, virtual tours are the next best thing to visiting a property in person.

As this hasn’t been possible in recent weeks, following Government advice – now rescinded in England – counselling against all in person property viewings as part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, virtual viewings have spiked in popularity.

All properties where the estate agent has had a virtual tour created have it accessible via their OnTheMarket listing alongside the location, photos and floor plan of the home.

OnTheMarket has introduced a new tool enabling property seekers to filter search results to show only properties where a virtual viewing is available.

This could be either a video or 3D self-directed virtual tour of the property.

OnTheMarket users can also select to ‘show online viewings first’ when hunting for homes if they want to prioritise properties with virtual viewings but not completely rule out those without.

Throughout lockdown vendors have also been giving potential buyers virtual viewings of their properties using applications such as WhatsApp, while estate agents have been using video tours filmed before lockdown either by themselves, vendors, in house videographers or external video producers.

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Nicky Archibald handles residential estate agency for Galbraith in Stirling around Argyll and the Isles.

She is overseeing the sale of Taigh na Coille on North Uist, as well as Glencruitten House near Oban, a 13-bedroom stately home whose virtual tour was the 10th most popular on the list.

She said: “Those two properties came on the market not long before lockdown started and there has been a lot of interest in both and positive feedback on the virtual tours.

“In the case of Taigh na Coille, we have facilitated for a number of interested parties who have taken the online tour to have virtual viewings on FaceTime done by the vendors.

“Because of the interest we have had we may set a closing date for both properties.”

Galbraith offers all sellers the option of a virtual tour done by their photographer and it is something more and more clients are taking up.

Nicky said: “Most of our properties now go on the market with a virtual tour, it’s become something like floor plans which people expect to see.

“They are a great tool to market a property and really show what’s on offer.

“I think the virtual tours have really come into their own since lockdown. People are spending a lot more time searching the net and looking at properties.

“I think what’s happening is prompting a lot of people to have a rethink and fast forward their moving plans.”

Vikki Bennett, spokesperson for OnTheMarket, added: “It’s interesting, although unsurprising, that consumer engagement with virtual tours has risen considerably since the beginning of lockdown.

“OnTheMarket has received millions of visits each week and we believe millions of people have continued seriously searching for their next home throughout.

“While many people will fancy a glimpse through the keyhole at a luxury townhouse, virtual tours have become invaluable to serious buyers.”

Top 10 most popular virtual tours at OnTheMarket during coronavirus lockdown with asking price

1)    Six-bedroom townhouse, Belgravia, £28,000,0000

2)    12-bedroom detached house, Buckinghamshire, £8,250,000                    

3)    Three-bedroom end of terrace new build house, Gillingham, £285,000                      

4)    Four-bedroom detached house with land, Cheshire, £995,000

5)    Four-bedroom converted water tower, West Sussex, £850,000                      

6)    Three-bedroom detached cottage, Mid Devon, £550,000

7)    Five-bedroom converted mill, Oswestry, £500,000

8)    Four-bedroom penthouse, Charing Cross, £16,250,000

9)    Four-bedroom detached house, North Uist, £325,000

10) 13-bedroom country house, Oban, £975,000

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