According to research by Rightmove, the experience of lockdown has made some big differences to what buyers and renters look for in a property. House hunters are now looking for more space, a garden, and home offices.
We’ve all had to acclimatise to months stuck in close proximity to our family and/or housemates, it’s no surprise that people are finding themselves in need of a little more space. In January, studio flats were the most sought after type of property on Rightmove, but since lockdown, two bed properties have taken the top spot, with a priority for more indoor and outdoor space.
The kitchen used to be the heart of the home when it came down to key marketing images, but now landlords and homeowners looking to sell are being advised to highlight outdoor space in listings, instead. Many people have also shifted to working from home, which is reflected in greater demand for extra bedrooms and access to garages, or similar outbuildings that could be used as a home workspace. Renters are also requesting homes that are suitable for pets – perhaps due to the increase in animal adoption and ownership during the Covid crisis.
Buyers and renters are also prepared to look further afield for larger affordable properties, balancing a longer commute with the benefits of extra space, and there’s been a spike in interest in countryside living. Some coastal towns and urban areas have seen a steep rise in rental demand, while interest in London and commuter areas of the South East has dropped by 14%.
Property sales understandably took a nosedive during lockdown, but the market seems to be bouncing back in response to the government updates on rules around moving house.
But the post-lockdown property market is looking very different, as buyers and renters search for a very different lifestyle than what was previously popular. Almost half of renters and 39% of buyers have reportedly changed what they were looking for as a direct response to lockdown. According to the Rightmove report, approximately 60% of people are looking for access to a garden, while 40% prioritise a larger home. Buyers in particular (over 30%) are looking for a home that has potential for a workspace, while over 20% of renters said they would prioritise a pet-friendly home. Proximity to parks or green spaces, fast internet and a spare room have also jumped up the wishlist, while commuting time and transport links are now deemed less important.
So if you’re putting your property on the market to take advantage of the new stamp duty rules, it’s definitely worth considering what might appeal to a post-lockdown buyer… Spruce up any outside areas, highlight the potential for home office space, and make sure access to communal gardens, nearby parks, and pet-friendliness is mentioned on rental listings.
For a free conveyancing quote and more advice on how to navigate the post-lockdown property market, get in touch with our expert property team at Frances Lindsay & Co. We can help you take advantage of the new stamp duty thresholds and make sure the legal aspects of your transaction go as smoothly and quickly as possible. For more info, visit www.franceslindsay.co.uk or give us a call on 01628 634667.