Virtual reality bites in house-hunting

26OCT

Virtual reality bites in house-hunting

Thu 26 Oct 2017 by Frances Traynor

House-hunting has changed radically since the days of trudging round estate agents and buying the local paper to check its weekly property pages. Online listings mean we can find, assess and see potential properties in a matter of seconds.

However, we usually still have to actually go and physically check out any house that takes our fancy  until now.

Virtual Reality technology might soon make it possible for all of us to "walk through" property, thanks to a state-of-the-art headset. We might all be in the Matrix now!

The latest in virtual reality for estate agents was unveiled earlier this month at the MIPIM property expo in Monaco. ReView is a CGI-standard tool developed by Manchester-based The Neighbourhood and allows estate agents to "show" viewers around a property from anywhere in the world, so long as they are wearing the headset.

Checking out property from the comfort of the sofa

VR has been used in property sales for some time. Rightmove tested its own virtual reality platform in 2016, inviting prospective buyers to view certain London properties from the comfort of their own sofa. All they needed was a smartphone and a Google cardboard headset to watch the 360-degree footage.

The Neighbourhood's own technology took eight months to develop and allows both agent and prospective buyer to "meet" in the space being marketed.

While tools such as this are an interesting development in the world of property buying and selling, for many people, nothing will actually beat the feel of walking into a house for the first time and being wowed or otherwise by the actual reality.

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