Many people are trying to evaluate the impact COVID-19 will have on the housing market. There will be changes, and new working practices will be introduced. However, many of the issues that are already crucial in the housing market will continue to exist, and some will become more important.
Buyers have a list of considerations when looking at property. Each individual buyer is likely to have something which matters most to them, but there are many common aspects appreciated by most buyers. The demand for homes with gardens is high, and it is likely to rise even further when the housing market moves forward.
Garden is a common search term for property buyers
Zoopla announced that in 2019, “garden” was the second most commonly used search term for prospective buyers. With garage and annexe also featuring prominently, the importance of space cannot be overlooked in the housing market.
Given the impact of COVID-19 and how we live our lives, it is inevitable that having an external space at home becomes even more critical for many people. The people and households who currently have access to a garden space have more freedom to relax, enjoy the fresh air and even get some exercise.
With many people advised not to leave their property, and many more unwilling to spend any length of time away from home, having a garden is of significant benefit.
When prospective buyers plan their next move, it is likely that having access to a garden area will be at the forefront of their thoughts. The presence and condition of a garden have always been vital in the property market, but when the market starts to move forward again, it is likely to be a priority.
This is something vendors should bear in mind. If you are fortunate enough to have a sizable and attractive garden, your home is likely to become even more appealing to potential buyers. If you have a garden that has been neglected in recent years, now is the ideal time to improve it.
There is a strong chance you will be spending more time in your garden right now. In addition to relaxing, sunbathing and getting some exercise, why not allocate time to tidying your garden and improving the space.
The chart below indicates the current asking price for property in the past 12 months in Forest Hill (according to Zoopla figures):
Many people find preparing their garden provides them with an extensive workout, so you can stay fit while making your garden area look more appealing. This will provide you with short and long-term benefits.
You don’t need to be experienced with planting flowers or consider yourself to have “green-fingers” to have a positive impact in your garden.
All good gardening projects start with the necessary steps. You should look to clean up your garden first, and this begins by tidying litter and removing all dead plants and weeds. Review the condition of your fences, and take the time to repair or replace any chipped or broken elements.
You should also mow the lawn, and pay attention to any paths, drives and walkways. Make sure these are in suitable condition and safe for people to walk on. You should also jet-hose these areas to ensure they are clean and looking as good as new.
Carrying out this level of work will have a positive impact on your garden, and this is before you start planting flowers. Try to add a burst of colour to your garden. Even if you are limited for space, add hanging baskets or window sills with pansies, ensuring even the smallest spaces can enjoy a fresh and vibrant look.
The rental market is also experiencing increased demand for gardens
It is also likely the rental market is going to see an increase in demand for rental properties with a garden.
Rightmove have released figures (as of 24 April 2020) that the number of searches by prospective tenants looking for a garden was almost twice the number during the initial week of lockdown. This search has increased by 16% compared to January and February of 2020, and are 26% higher than the same period in April of 2019.
Rightmove also states that while overall search activity is lower than would be expected for this time of year, it is increasing, as more people return to the market. There has also been an increase in the rental stock available compared to the first two weeks of lockdown.
The chart below indicates the current asking rental price for property in the past 12 months in Forest Hill (according to Zoopla figures):
Miles Shipside is the Commercial Director and Housing Market analyst at Rightmove, and Miles said; “Having a garden is often a rarity for many rental properties in larger cities, and so it may be that during lockdown people are rethinking their needs and location and are searching for some outdoor space and tranquillity. That allure may draw them further away from where they have habitually lived and travelled to work from, as can be seen by some of the coastal locations that have seen the largest search increases. “
Miles continued by saying; “Those properties with a garden are likely to be able to fill any landlord voids more quickly post lockdown. Understandably most of the rental market has hit the pause button right now except where there are essential moves taking place, and so we haven’t seen an indication of price movements yet. If there is a spike in demand that exceeds supply when lockdown ends this may underpin rental prices.”
At Hunters Forest Hill, we know selling property is challenging, but we are here to assist you in the process. If you aim to buy, sell, let your home or rent property, we are active in New Cross, Peckham, Dulwich and Brockley, in addition to Forest Hill, so get in touch with one of the top three agents in London, and we will be happy to assist you.