Lockdown has changed what home-buyers want in a property

After several months in self-isolation, a majority of potential home-movers want to have a bigger garden in their next home, or at least have access to one. (Rawpixel pic)

LONDON: After spending more time than expected at home these past few months, a growing number of people are getting in the groove of homebuying again.

However, a new study out of the UK suggests that potential home-movers in the market have re-evaluated their priorities post-lockdown.

The Rightmove survey, conducted with 4,692 respondents, reveals that more than one-third of would-be buyers (39%) have changed their buying criteria after these past months in self-isolation.

Sixty-three percent of potential home-movers want to have a bigger garden in their next home, or at least have access to one.

“Usually home-movers tell us the kitchen photographs are the most important when they’re looking at a property advert, but now agents should consider giving greater prominence to pictures of gardens and outdoor spaces to attract the attention of prospective renters and buyers … Communal gardens sometimes get left out of rental listings but they should definitely be including them now too,” Miles Shipside, Housing Market Analyst at Rightmove, said in a statement.

Almost half of prospective buyers (43%) also wish to live in a bigger property, with three-bedroom houses being the most sought-after property type on the UK-based real estate portal Rightmove.

In addition to a bigger house and garden, more than a third of surveyors (36%) are looking to acquire a property with a better working space than the one they are currently living in, as well as a garage or access to a parking space.

Additional criteria on their post-lockdown wishlist include being closer to parks and green spaces (31%), moving to a rural area (30%) and, more surprisingly, living in a pet-friendly home (22%).

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of employees across the world to work from home, only 8% of surveyed home-movers want to live closer to work.

Commuting time from the workplace is no longer a criterion on the top of potential buyers’ wishlist, while good internet and a spare room are now becoming more sought-after attributes.

“Usually sellers living near a train station or a tube station use this as a selling point and can command a premium price for their home, but that isn’t going to be such an important selling point for those buyers now expecting to work from home more. It’s now all about showcasing a spare room in the best way,” Shipside commented.