Virtual reality property viewings:go house hunting from the comfort of your sofa

You could soon go house-hunting without having to leave your sofa, if Rightmove's new experiment with virtual reality takes off...

In the not-so-distant future, virtual reality technology, which is slowly being adopted by estate agents, could make house-hunting far less time-consuming.

If it takes off, homebuyers will be able to tour properties via a smartphone or computer, only visiting the ones they decide to shortlist.

For now, Rightmove has teamed up with north London estate agent Martyn Gerrard to create two examples of virtual tours - a £2.5 million seven-bedroom mansion in Oakleigh Park South and a new-build development in Finchley Central.

Each property was filmed on a camera rig made up of six connected GoPro cameras. The footage was stitched together, creating an immersive 360-degree video which can be navigated by moving your phone, swiping your fingers on a touchscreen, or using a mouse.

The virtual videos can be seen on YouTube, or by downloading the Littlstar app. For a totally immersive experience, use a virtual reality headset such as Google's Cardboard viewer, available online for around £3.

"With this approach, potential buyers could get more of a feel for properties and choose ones to visit that really suit their requirements. It could make the whole process more time efficient for buyers, agents and vendors," says Rightmove’s head of innovation, Hannes Buhrmann.


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