Following the easing of the lockdown restrictions, leading London property developer Galliard Homes are now seeing an influx in first-time buyer sales reservations across their portfolio.
Galliard have reported 35 new reservation deals in the first two weeks since the ease of lockdown, with a further 11 deals in the pipeline, bringing the total to 46. A significant amount of these deals have come from first-time buyers who had spent time during their lockdown searching for properties online using Galliard’s virtual tours.
Since the ease of lockdown restrictions, the re-emergence of first-time buyers using the government’s Help to Buy scheme has been extensive. Galliard highlight that following the Conservative win in the most recent general election, the first-time buyer market gained momentum, this activity was then stalled due to the Coronavirus lockdown. Now, Galliard are pleased to see that the ease of lockdown restrictions is helping the first-time buyer market flourish again.
Galliard highlight that millennial buyers (aged 22/29 years), who comprise 66% of all first-time buyers (Stated by Fortune Builders), spent large amounts of time online during the lockdown and were able to easily navigate the company’s virtual viewings, resulting post lockdown in a release of built-up demand and a steady rate of physical viewings to the company’s marketing suites and show homes.
Whilst following the government’s guidelines to stay at home when possible, millennial buyers were spending increasing amounts of time searching for properties online, whilst technology was becoming an important step in the search for a new home, with over 94% of millennial buyers looking for properties online (Stated by Real Estate Express).
During the lockdown, across the entirety of their London portfolio, Galliard launched guided virtual tours of their show homes, with a specialist team of 25 sales agents train to guide buyers through the virtual tours and answer any questions they may have.
The rise of the millennial buyer generation has been combined with the growth of technology within the property industry, with developers and estate agents using digital media to market properties more frequently. Those in their 20s and 30s are more likely to buy newly-built homes than any other age group, proven by the popularity of Galliard Homes newly built developments among first-time and millennial buyers.
Galliard Homes have highlighted that since the ease of lockdown, first-time buyer sales have been most popular at their Church Road development in Leyton, where prices start from £325,000, and their Pinnacle House development in Kings Langley, where prices start at £220,000, with many buyers having already viewed the virtual tours available of the dressed show apartments. In a recent study by Matterport, it was found that 60% of home buyers would use virtual walkthroughs to visualise a move in, made evident by the success of Galliard’s virtual tours.
Galliard Homes launched innovative guided virtual tours across their London portfolio of properties through their partnership with online technology firm, Reevo 360. Potential buyers are sent a digital link for the Galliard property they are interested in viewing, along with a unique access code which connects the buyer’s screen to that of the Galliard sales agent. This enables the Galliard sales agent to speak to and interact with the buyer and take them on a professionally guided virtual viewing of the home for sale.
Alongside the first-time buyers purchasing at Galliard’s schemes in Kings Langley and Leyton, their central London schemes are proving popular with investors and overseas buyers. Since the launch of these innovative virtual tours across their portfolio, Galliard Homes are pleased to report remote sales at their development The Stage, Shoreditch and Harbour Central, London Docklands through virtual viewings. The virtual tours provide buyers from all over the world with an insight into the lifestyle on offer at each development, as travel restrictions may limit face-to-face viewing opportunities.
David Galman, Sales Director at Galliard Homes said, “When it became obvious that lockdown was on the way, we immediately invested in innovative technology for virtual tours, and launched these across our entire London portfolio.
“We have seen a significant number of purchases from first-time buyers during, and now post lockdown. Many buyers have used our virtual tours to learn more about the lifestyle on offer at each scheme. Millennials are spending a lot of time looking at property online and are very keen to use the technology we have made available.
“Since the lockdown has eased, we have seen the use of these virtual tours help buyers to move forward. There has been an uptick in interest from motivated purchasers moving to purchase which is very encouraging indeed.”