Properties with gardens, granny extensions and at least one spare room in which to create a home office – UK property hunting priorities are changing as a result of Covid-19.
Certainly, UK property close to rail links for commuting is no longer attracting a premium, instead a village within cycling distance to the nearest city is much more likely to be sought-after.
The findings are the result of surveys carried out by lenders and estate agencies to discover buyers’ moods post-lockdown. Considering the lockdown restrictions, the results aren’t too much of a surprise. But they do show the effects the coronavirus pandemic – and the threat of future pandemics – has had on buyer mentality.
Rightmove announces record viewings post-lockdown
It has been less than a month since the UK property market kicked back into life, following the lifting of the ‘stay at home’ message.
Rightmove has already reported record viewing numbers of 5.3 million visits on one day alone. At the same time, 11,000 additional properties were listed within seven days – showing how keen sellers still were to move. Rightmove executives estimated around 450,000 property transactions had been put on hold during the UK lockdown period.
House price falls as buyers return to market
The market’s stalling has resulted in a fall in value for the average house of around £4000, according to the Nationwide House Price Index this week. That brings the average cost of a home in England and Wales to around £218,902. It’s the biggest monthly drop in 11 years – but then the market was stalled in April. Some analysts are predicting a five per cent drop in house values by the end of the year. Others, though, are more optimistic, believing the mortgage holiday scheme, furloughing and self-employed grants will cause the market – and economy – to bounce back quickly.
Garden and super-fast broadband big buyer priorities
But, back to the research and shifting priorities – Nationwide has also published results from its householder survey. The lender found that 34 per cent of buyers now wanted a garden – whereas before lockdown it wasn’t even a consideration.
Home-working is also high on the minds of buyers with an additional 20 per cent now looking for super-fast broadband speeds.
Upmarket estate agents Savills has been doing its own research. Of 700 buyers interviewed, more than half of those who had children at school said they found a countryside location more appealing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. At the same time just under 50 per cent said they would now be more inclined to try village life. And for those under 40s who enjoy city living, a garden is now a priority for a whopping 71 per cent of them.
Meanwhile, much has been made in the media about the improved quality of city air since the lockdown. One website for renters has already begun listing air quality alongside other property details, such as energy rating, number of bedrooms etc. This too, fits in with the rural and countryside yearnings of buyers.
Generational living with Granny extensions
The ban on seeing family members during lockdown has prompted some buyers to start looking for bigger properties. The idea being that they can have older relatives – or other family – living with them in the event a similar lockdown occurs in the future. This is also good news for properties with enough land to build an extension.
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Wondering what’s happening in the UK property market post-lockdown? For this and information on property investing in general get in touch with the team here at Edifice Invest.