The UK lockdown has led to a distinct shift among the property qualities homeowners seek. Out of over 3000 property searches carried out in March and April 2020, the results revealed some interesting patterns that emerged – which show how buyer behaviour has already started to change ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The results showed that searches for granny annexes were up by 16 percent – suggesting that the forced separation from older parents has made many realise that having them close by and ideally in a building attached to the same property is now a key factor in future property purchases.
The restrictions on movement have made it apparent to many without adequate garden space that this also needs to be a priority – as searches increased by 12 percent. And with the increased emphasis on working from home due to the coronavirus, the likelihood of this being a more integral part of working life post Covid-19 has led to a four percent increase in searches for a home office.
Ben Davis, ceo of the PropertyHeads Group, said: “The results of our analysis show that the Coronavirus pandemic has already led to a noticeable shift in the preferences of prospective buyers using our portal to search for a new property.
“Whilst the current lockdown has led to the temporary pause in the progression of house purchases, as lockdown is eased over the coming months, it is clear that the types of properties which will be in higher demand will be quite different to those which were preferable prior to the lockdown.”
There has also been an rise of nine percent in searches for properties in rural areas, as some now desire to move away from city locations. And the overall maximum price of searches has fallen by five percent – suggesting that affordability will be a key consideration after lockdown.
Finances are likely to be tight for many people following weeks of self-isolation, furloughing and redundancies for some, and Ben continues to explains why he believes that having access to as much information as possible about a potential property is essential to helping to kickstart the property market after lockdown: “Traditional property search websites are moving too slowly when it comes to providing like-for-like property comparisons, instant messaging, flexible sharing of property details and property owner reviews.
“We want to give buyers and tenants the information and contact network they need to make excellent property decisions, whilst helping sellers and landlords shine a light on their properties USPs, something which is even more critical given the devastating impact coronavirus has already had on the property industry.”