Our whole way of searching online changed following the outbreak of Covid. There was a vast push for knowledge, which was largely fed by a huge percentage of people being stuck at home for a long period of time. There was a lot of time to think, and a lot more searches for things like ‘how to make bread?’ and ‘how to cut your own hair?’.

In our previous blog about Google's free suite of tools, we included a very brief mention of Google Trends - a free tool that shows search patterns for different terms. This allows us to see the search patterns over the last five years. For this month’s post, we’re using that tool to take a look at search trends for the housing industry, how they have changed following Covid, and generally over the last five years.

What Searches Were Affected By Covid?

Being trapped in our houses certainly made a lot more people look at ‘moving house’. The term had always seen fairly steady searches, but saw a huge spike aligning with the date the country went into national lockdown, and one at the start of 2021. There were a number of similar breakout terms, including ‘moving house during lockdown’. In 2022, we’ve seen a 30% decrease in interest compared to last year.  

What we were looking for in a house has also changed. With ‘houses for sale with granny annex near me’, and ‘houses with granny annex near me’, both seeing a 1550% increase in interest. Along with ‘bungalows for sale near me’, which saw more interest from April 2020. Other than a bit of a drop in December 2021, this has seen continued improvements. 

Once we had decided on what we wanted, ‘when’ was the next question. Particularly as we entered into different restrictions in 2021. ‘When to move’ saw a significant increase in interest between January and August in 2021. 

In the world of new homes, we can see that ‘new build houses’ has seen a continued rise in interest over the last five years, but with some differing trends. Since 2020, the biggest interest is between January - March each year. There’s then a gradual decline all the way to December before shooting back up for the next January spike. 2020 was the exception to this rule, as it also saw a second spike in the summer (timing with when the first lockdown was ending). 

What Searches Have Continued To Improve Despite Covid?

Though Covid had a significant impact on a lot of search terms, there were still a number of terms that showed growth before and after the pandemic. 

The general term of ‘houses for sale near me’ has gone up drastically over the last five years. The interest in this term has seen further acceleration since 2020, and overall remains a popular search. 

Some new build terms have also seen continued improvement over the last five years. ‘New builds near me’ and ‘shared ownership houses’ both saw continued increased interest.  

What Searches Have Seen A Drop Since Covid?

The housing industry has a broad range of terms, and one of the terms connected to housing through credit score is ‘electoral roll’. Which has seen a continued and significant drop over the last five years, with particular drops in interest in Jan 2020 and May 2021. 

What Searches Remained Stable Throughout?

Despite the heightened focus around how first-time buyers are going to afford their first home, searches for ‘how to get on the property ladder’ have remained fairly stable over the last five years. 

If you’re looking for an agency that keeps you ahead of the curve in search, speak to our team about how we can help improve your website traffic. If you’re interested in finding out more from Google Trends on what happened in search, read more on their year in search in 2020 and 2021.