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Monday becomes property search prime time

House hunters now favour the start of the week for house hunting, according to search engine giant Google.

New research from the site reveals that house hunters favour Mondays and Tuesdays over the traditional weekend slot they once reserved for the task. It also reveals that the ratio of male and female property visitors on the site is fairly evenly split among age groups, though those over 50 years of age are proving most active.

Overall interest in property has increased, with searches up 11% year-on-year in the first six months of this year, with new-build properties up 20%. Interest in property prices has proved a particular interest for Google users, with price search enquiries up 28% in the first half of the year at an average monthly growth rate of 6%. This compares with a 14% decline last October and comes as Halifax reveals the third consecutive monthly price increase, with the average UK property price up 1.6% to £163,533 last month.

Google's research comes as CB Richard Ellis predicts continued volatility in the housing market. In its latest residential market trends report, the property advisory group predicts a prolonged housing market recovery as the momentum created by increased mortgage funding availability is offset by increases in the Bank Base Rate next year.

The report states: “There are a number of conflicting pressures facing the housing market in the next 12 months. As a result, it is hard to predict a smooth recovery. And, although we suspect the general trajectory will be upward, there will be a certain degree of volatility with monthly falls in activity and prices as well as rises.”

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