Wifi, working from home and outdoor space: New homeowner priorities

There is no doubt that the property market is experiencing turbulent times, with the UK’s lockdown bringing both the rental and house-buying markets to a near complete standstill.

In November 2019, we looked at what was top of the list for prospective homeowners, but how has the landscape for buyers and sellers changed since the pandemic? And what can we expect prospective owners to look for in a new property in the months to come?

New priorities for purchasers

It seems those looking to buy a house have altered perceptions of their ideal future home, with a change in key dealbreakers. Most notably, there has been a shift from bricks and mortar to the locality and functionality of the house. 39% of under 50s are now inclined to look for a bigger home and 48% of under-40s desire a good wireless internet connection.

A survey by the Home Builders Federation found that two in five of those who currently own a home would prioritise office space when searching for a new property. Estate agency Savills found that 71% of under-40s now have their sights set on better outdoor space when looking for their next property.

These changing requirements reflect our changing working habits, as well as what we can expect to see being popular in the months to come. Sellers thinking about what to add to their homes should take note.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, are those over 50, who seek more financial security when it comes to owning a home. 20% of those surveyed said they would be more likely to downsize to a smaller property than before the lockdown.

What’s next for the property market?

There has been much speculation about what the property market and prospective buyers face in the coming months, following reports that property values have dropped by 1.4% – the first annual fall for eight years. The drop in property prices might be welcome news for some buyers, with mortgages becoming increasingly difficult to secure as the pandemic progresses.

Despite a fall in first-time buyers at the beginning of lockdown, Zoopla research found that first-time buyers are dominating the marketplace, with demand surpassing pre-lockdown levels. This is likely due to their ability to access government help-to-buy schemes, meaning it may be easier for first-time buyers to secure a mortgage.

Although the property market has enjoyed a revival through the easing of lockdown measures, its future is still fragile as those who were looking to buy or sell face fresh concerns in relation to income and job security.

How can we help?

Whether you’re thinking about buying your first home or selling your current property in favour of a better home office, First4Lawyers can help make the process of buying or selling a house simpler.

For expert help with conveyancing, just give us a call, request a call back at the top of your screen or start your enquiry here.


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