As the housing market in Wales looks to move forward, it is natural to look towards the English housing market and see what changes have occurred there. A lot of studies by big organisations and names in the housing sector provides us with an idea of what buyers are looking for when they make their next move.
Iain McKenzie is the CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, and he believes the data from Dataloft indicates consumer buyer in the housing market has already been strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
McKenzie states; “COVID-19 has prompted many people to re-evaluate their ideal home. Now, more than ever, buyers are looking for homes with easy access to outdoor space, and it is highly likely that we will see the importance of such space increase. Currently, only 66% of flats have access to private outside space, compared to 97% of houses.”
He continued by saying; “Data reveals that there is already a £2,500 price premium for homes within 100 metres of green space when compared with homes 500 metres away. As the value and demand for homes with access to green space increases, we could see a shift in building design moving forward.”
Green space is in significant demand in the housing market
The idea that buyers are willing to pay a substantial sum of money to have access to more green space at home is something that vendors need to be aware of. Any homeowner who has a garden space should ensure that this feature is utilised as best as possible, as this will help to make a positive impression on the buyer. It might also help the vendor sell their home for a higher price.
Iain McKenzie also pointed out that there have been significant changes in the commute, and this will likely drive a different form of buyer demand in the future. Remote working is likely to become commonplace in many industries, which will change what is important for buyers when they look at property.
McKenzie said; “While we may have seen homes closer to public transport being sought-after pre-COVID, those who aren’t working from home are now avoiding public transport where possible, and are opting for alternative ways of getting to work. Since lockdown, there has been a 70% increase in people commuting by bicycle, with the government encouraging schemes such as pop-up cycle lanes, wider pavements and school streets. A positive result is that many local authorities have started to make changes based on the trend with the government investing £250 million to secure a lasting legacy of greener, safer transport.”
Remote working will affect the market
With time being saved on the daily commute, some people might decide it is best to live in a different area, or other factors might become more important than finding a place that is suitable for work. Of course, if people are going to work from home, this will be a factor in buyer’s considerations.
As an example, home office space will become desirable for buyers, and broadband will become more important for vendors.
McKenzie also said; “The lockdown has also proven to many sceptics that working from home is viable, and even convenient. Before COVID-19, only 5% of people mainly worked from home, and less than 30% had ever worked from home. I don’t expect the end of offices, as many people will miss them, along with the interaction and social benefits. However, working from home could become more common and with it, the relative importance of commute times, broadband speeds and space for a home office.”
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