House prices surge with 7.7!!PERCENT!! risePA Wire/Press Association Images

The most viewed house on the market this year was a semi-detached property in Middlesex, which became known as the purple house, because every room and most of the fixtures and fittings were an arresting shade of purple. It seems that our curiosity about how other people live knows no bounds.

So what were the other house-hunting highlights of the year?


A report issued by Rightmove named the purple house as the most viewed in the country. An incredible 3 million people browsed round the unusual interior online. We reported on it back in November, when the £400,000 West London property created a huge stir on social media. The property has since been sold and taken off the site.

Its other most viewed properties included a number we reported on last month in our review of the most expensive homes on the market. They included the most expensive property in the UK (a flat in One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge which is on sale for £68 million). It also included two homes priced at £65 million - one in North London near Hampstead Heath and one in Holland Park, West London.

However, while news stories and social media may have driven visitors to these homes, Rightmove said that the recovering market has helped drive a more general pick-up in views across the site. It is now the seventh busiest website in the country - up from tenth position last year. And all five of its busiest days this year were in August - when the housing market started showing clear signs that a recovery was underway.

It said the peak time for viewing is Tuesday lunchtime - when we take advantage of a bit of down-time at work to house hunt, check selling prices in the area, or daydream about our dream home.

Meanwhile we're most likely to check the site on our mobiles on Sunday at 8pm - presumably it's the easiest way to check prices in the middle of a conversation with our nearest and dearest - or while we are watching TV together.

It added that it expects another peak over Christmas. Last year 3.2 million people went house-hunting online between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Presumably this is when we look round our home at our family gathered together under one roof and decide we definitely need somewhere bigger (or further away).