It appears that nearly four months in lockdown has changed home buyers priorities with outside space, large kitchens and high-speed broadband taking priority over location and links to public transport.
According to a survey commissioned by UK housebuilder Redrow, over 25% of prospective buyers have changed their minds over what aspects of their new homes are most important to them – and are seeking outside space with larger terraces and gardens, spacious kitchens and energy efficiency.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK back in March, parents and those expecting children have been most likely to shift priorities. The survey found that 60% of respondents had access to private outdoor space, such as a garden, terrace area or balcony at the top of their property wish list – no doubt following months of home schooling and trying to keep children entertained. The importance of outside space during the lockdown with the great weather has made people reassess the importance of being able to access a garden or terrace.
Meanwhile, 40% of those surveyed were looking for a property with a larger kitchen and 29% were looking at the energy efficiency of the property which could have been prompted by those who are looking towards spending more time working from home going forward. People are also considering that there could either be a second wave or new pandemic and have now seen the reality of being in lockdown and feel that it’s happened once, it could well happen again.
High-speed broadband was also important to house hunters with 27% looking for a high-speed connection to enable efficient home working and home schooling.
Rather than looking at the proximity to public transport and road links, there was also a marked shift of people looking to live within walking or cycling distance of where they work – with 22% placing this as a priority. Access to green open spaces was also a priority for 35% of house hunters, proximity to small convenience stores was 33% and doctor’s surgery was 32%.
A quarter of those surveyed said that living in an area with a strong community was key, while 23% said they would make a concerted effort to get to know their neighbours when they move.
More time spent in the home has made us reconsider how we use the space that we have, and how our homes can adapt to more permanent change in the future.
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