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How the Pandemic Has Changed Buyer Priorities Posted: 7th April 2021

According to the latest research, over a quarter of the UK’s renters and homeowners have found that what they want and need from a property has changed since the COVID pandemic.

Here in the UK, we have had over a year of remote working, home schooling, online shopping and going out for a meal or a drink with our friends is something of a distant memory. Previously considered ‘high valued’ amenities are now far down on our priority list when looking for a new home. Gradual Ownership provider, Wayhome found that the least important features of a home are an easy commute to work at 17%, being close to shops and restaurants at 17% and living near public transport at only 14%.

This research indicates a new set of property amenities will take precedence once lockdown lifts. This is a result of UK residents spending over a year confined to their homes and the ‘new normal’ of continued full or part time home working from home.

When asked which property features were the most important to buyers and renters, the response was 26% seeking more space for a home office – which went up to 30% for parents and was 22% for non-parents, perhaps a reflection of juggling work and childcare.

As well as specific space for a home office, lockdown has resulted in a requirement for more general space in our homes for both work and leisure. When surveyed, 30% of all homeowners and renters wanted a greater amount of space and 24% were looking for a larger bedroom.

Many of us have spent much more time indoors and international travel has been very difficult, as a result 36% place importance on having access to a private garden. This was more important among older people, especially 55-73 year olds at 52%, falling to 43% of 43-54 year olds and 35% of 24-42 year olds.

Similarly, 21% of those surveyed felt that living near a public garden or green space was important to them, and 25% of women prioritised being near friends and family whilst 17% of men prioritised proximity to friends and family.

More important since COVID were (in order) Garden, More space, Home office, Larger bedroom, Proximity to friends and family, Close proximity to green space and public parks, Close to local amenities, Children’s playroom, and Off street parking.

Features less important since COVID were (in order) Easy commute to work, Close to local amenities, Near to public transport, Balcony, Home office, Off street parking, Playroom, Larger bedroom.

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