Last week PropertyWire reported the results of a new survey of 1,282 homebuyers looking at how homebuyers priorities have shifted when choosing a home, since the onset of coronavirus.

Compared to the same survey taken in 2019, the study found that open and green spaces have moved up the list of important factors that people look for when buying a home.

Outdoor space, proximity to a park and broadband connectivity have become much more important factors for homebuyers in the UK in 2021.  

The survey was commissioned by bridging lender Market Financial Solutions (MFS). They compared the results to an identical survey taken in 2019 and published the findings in a report entitled The Homebuyer Wishlist 2021.

92% of homebuyers stated that a garden or outdoor space was an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ consideration when choosing a home – placing it in more importance than the size of a property (square footage) as the single most important factor when compared with the survey taken in 2019.

The square footage is now in second place with 89% rating it as important – and broadband connectivity has moved up the list too, and is now rated the third most important factor, with 88% saying it was crucially important, compared with 82% in 2019.

Next on the list was the quality and finish of the interior (85%) followed by close proximity to open spaces or a park which moved up six places to number five on the list. 84% said this was important, compared to 79% two years ago.

The need for transport links has become less important, as has proximity to the nearest town or city, demonstrating that buyers may be keener to work from home and be closer to nature as their priorities shifted during the pandemic.

Speaking about the report, the CEO of MFS, Paresh Raja told PropertyWire:

“It is no secret that the pandemic has altered people’s perspective on what they want and need from their homes. Remote working and social distancing mean the majority of Britons now spend much more time in their own homes, while access to outdoor space for both exercise and socialising has become far more important.

“Our new report highlights just how quickly the market has evolved. There are notably different demands among homebuyers, with a property’s garden and broadband connectivity becoming ever-more important factors. Meanwhile, transport links and being near to a town or city has understandably become less crucial for some homebuyers, given people are commuting less and so many hospitality, leisure and retail venues in urban areas have been closed.

“It will be intriguing to monitor these trends if lockdown rules are fully lifted on 21 June. It is likely that the appeal of being near to city centres will return, as will the value of good transport links for work and social purposes. Yet, for now, it is clear that demand has changed, which is leading to fierce competition for properties that tick these all-important boxes.”

Broadband now higher priority than school

And MFS weren’t the only ones looking it homebuyers properties last week. Property specialists Bramleys also conducted some research into how the pandemic has affected house searches and found that homebuyers would now prioritise buying a home with superfast broadband over being close to a good school.

New top 20 list of priorities for homebuyers:

  1. Garden (61%)
  2. Parking space (40%)
  3. Rural location (32%)
  4. Good public transport availability (32%)
  5. Close to family (29%)
  6. Superfast broadband available (24%)
  7. Close proximity to budget supermarkets (15%)
  8. Close to workplace (14%)
  9. Close to friends (13%)
  10. Friendly neighbours/ close community (12%)
  11. Close proximity to good schools (12%)
  12. Already completely refurbished (11%)
  13. City centre location (10%)
  14. Separate garage (9%)
  15. Close proximity to a public park (9%)
  16. Close proximity to luxury supermarket (8%)
  17. Close proximity to a local pub (8%)
  18. Good selection of takeaways (6%)
  19. Home office space (6%)
  20. New build property (5%)

Speaking to PropertWire, Residential partner at Bramleys, Paul Keighley said:

“The pandemic and a year of lockdown has meant that priorities have changed for homebuyers. With more of us than ever embracing the great outdoors, and the relaxation of rules to allow gatherings in private gardens, it is no surprise that a garden topped the poll for the most popular feature for a new home, as well as homes in more rural areas.

“Before you even begin your home search, we would recommend creating your own list of ‘non-negotiables’ for your new home – this will help you narrow down your property search and give you a better indication of the best areas for you.”

Ready to make your move? Get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation quote. If you’re thinking of downsizing we have secure, stone-built storage facilities right here in the centre of Bridport. We can help you to pack your things and put them straight into storage for you until you’re ready to deal with them, taking all the stress out of moving for you. Give us a call to find out more.

Picture credit: Badiuth on Unsplash