The Role of Technology in Modern Property Buying in 2024

Buying property is a challenging process that takes a lot of consideration and research. The advent of digital tools and technology has made the process much easier, helping inform and guide prospective homeowners to help them find their perfect property. From helping with the buying process to improving how people search for and view homes, digital technology is at the forefront of a significant change in the industry.

In this article, we will discuss the role of technology in modern home buying in 2024 and how these innovations have made the process of finding, securing and purchasing a home more streamlined.

Virtual Tours

Traditionally, prospective buyers would learn about a property by looking at a listing or attending an in-person viewing. These options were problematic, though, as listings could only provide so much information, and you had to schedule time off to visit a property to view it.

Virtual tours look to change all of that by harnessing technology to view properties remotely. This is achieved by using digital technology that creates a three-dimensional, interactive walkthrough. These tours allow potential buyers to explore properties conveniently without physically visiting the site.

Benefits of Virtual Tours

Virtual tours provide buyers with a realistic view of the property, saving them time and travel costs. Sellers benefit by showcasing their properties to a wider audience, enhancing buyer interest and potentially speeding up the sale process.

For example, the multinational giant Sotheby’s saw a 20 % increase in property sales following the implementation of virtual tours. It’s clear why virtual tours offer more insights for buyers while making it easier for sellers to manage viewings.

Platforms like Matterport are leading the charge, offering tools that enable real estate agents to create immersive 3D property scans that can be experienced online by buyers worldwide.

AI-Driven Property Searches

One of the most significant changes that technology will bring us in the coming years is artificial intelligence (AI). This technology allows computers and machines to simulate human intelligence and problem-solving abilities. AI can fulfil many roles, which help buyers in different ways.

AI has been used to help prospective homeowners find the perfect property for their needs. By feeding the AI with specific parameters and preferences, it can trawl huge databases to offer personalised recommendations. It can consider user preferences and behaviour, demographics and many other variables to help find the perfect property.

Benefits for property buyers

AI enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the home search process. By providing tailored suggestions, AI technologies can help buyers find their ideal property faster. It takes a lot of the stress and heavy lifting out of property search, as you can trust that the options provided perfectly meet the requirements outlined by the user.

Platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla use AI to fine-tune search results and predict market trends, aiding buyers in making informed decisions. So, although still in its infancy, AI is already reshaping how buyers find property.

Online Transactions

The digitalisation of transactions, from offers to final signatures, is another facet of technology reshaping the real estate landscape. This includes electronic contracts and e-signatures facilitated by platforms such as DocuSign and Dotloop.

Like our personal banking, online transactions offer unmatched convenience and speed for property purchases. They also improve the security of transactions, with digital trails ensuring transparency and reducing the risk of fraud. The process typically involves digital verification of documents, electronic signing, and secure online payment methods, streamlining the entire buying or selling experience.

Additional Technological Tools and Challenges

Emerging technologies like blockchain are being leveraged to secure property records. At the same time, augmented reality (AR) is used for home staging, allowing buyers to visualise changes and furniture layouts in potential homes. It’s highly likely that as we continue to use these tools, their utility will only improve. All of these innovations combined are looking to completely change how we view, list, and purchase homes—for the better.

Challenges and Considerations

Although many of these new technologies offer a great deal of promise - and, in many cases, are already bringing about positive change in the industry - there are some potential challenges and considerations to consider. Despite the benefits, there are challenges, such as the digital divide, where disparities in access to technology can limit the effectiveness of these digital solutions. If you aren’t tech-savvy, you could be in a worse position when finding and buying homes.

Another aspect of this new technology that could prove challenging is privacy and security. Privacy concerns are significant and well-founded, as increased data sharing raises the risk of breaches. If the industry relies on this technology too much, it will become a target for hackers, scammers, and fraudsters.

Overcoming Challenges

Although these problems are real, they aren’t impossible to overcome. property buyers and professionals should do their best to stay informed about the latest security practices and seek platforms that balance technological efficiency with robust data protection measures. Platforms such as PropertyData place a strong focus on safety, security and education, which helps to overcome these barriers while also providing the latest and greatest technological innovations.

Finally, while technology facilitates efficiency, the human touch remains essential in real estate transactions. Combining technology with a more personalised service can enhance buyer trust and satisfaction while benefiting from the latest tools in the industry.

Expert Opinions

Industry experts predict that the integration of AI and other digital tools in real estate will continue to grow. They emphasise the importance of adaptive technologies that can respond to changing market needs while enhancing user experience.

Conclusion

Looking ahead, the role of technology in home buying is only going to grow and improve. While there are challenges to address, the benefits—ranging from improved market access and efficiency to enhanced security—will make it much easier for buyers to understand the property market and find the perfect home. By continuing to innovate and adapt, the sector can ensure that it meets the evolving needs of property buyers in the digital age.

PropertyData offers the latest tools and analytics to help you harness technology during the property buying process. If you would like to learn more, please contact PropertyData today.

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Transparent data promise

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We use proprietary technology to read the square footage of properties from agent floorplans. Although we cannot determine the square footage for all properties, we can usually get sufficient coverage. Agents are sometimes known to inflate square footage, and this should be borne in mind as a weakness of this data.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2024-05-31, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry, and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data provided by Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We match the Land Registry data to EPC data provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Due to the fact that not all properties sold have had an EPC and vagaries of addressing in the UK, we are not able to determine the square footage of all properties, but we can usually get sufficient coverage.

How often is the data updated?

The private paid data is updated once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month. The energy performance certificate database is updated monthly.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2024-05-31, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Room let listings on SpareRoom, the UK's biggest room letting website.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from SpareRoom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from Zoopla, Rightmove or Spareroom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale. For the SpareRoom data, hypothetical properties consisting of two to six average double rooms with shared bathrooms are used to derived average rent. For all sources, listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

Zoopla Zed-index

What time period does the data cover?

The data covers transactions in the last six years

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

The price paid data shown goes back to January 2015. The listings data is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the calculations used?

Average sales per month are for the last 3 finalised months. Turnover is average sales per month divided by total for sale. Inventory is 100 divided by turnover.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

Where does the raw data come from?

We receive data on the extent and corporate ownership of all land titles in England & Wales from the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated once per month when released, typically in the first few days of each calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is an ownership snapshot - the data represents ownership as recorded by the Land Registry at the last monthly export.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

Where does the raw data come from?

We source different expert forecasts Savills, Knight Frank, OBR

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated annually when new forecasts are released, typically towards the beginning of the year.

How is the raw data processed?

We calculate a consensus forecast using a simple mean average.