As the property market begins to gain momentum as lockdown measures are eased, here are four key trends that we anticipate to see over the coming months.
- A boom in people buying – particularly properties under £500k
Following the announcement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak that all buyers in the UK will be exempt from paying stamp duty on properties worth £500,000 or less with immediate effect, a big surge in the market is not only hoped for, but anticipated. For those who were considering buying before lockdown, this latest move by the government in an attempt to kick-start the UK economy will prove enticing and could be the vote of confidence they need, particularly first-time buyers. The measure will affect around 90% of buyers, and could save each on average £4,500. For buyers who are looking in the price bracket of £400-500k, the saving could be as great as £15,000. With this measure set to be in place until 31st March 2021, the coming months could prove to be a busy period.
- Increased demand for outdoor space
If the lockdown taught us anything – it’s the value of outdoor space. During the pandemic, many peoples’ quality of life seemed to be directly linked with how able they were to access outdoor space. Of course, for those fortunate enough to have their own gardens, life was significantly better – having a private and safe area for exercising, relaxing and enjoying the good weather. While there has been an increase in buyers looking to move out of high-density urban areas, cities like London will always maintain their appeal and remain a hotspot for savvy investors. Therefore, we anticipate that there will be an accelerated increase in developers looking to incorporate green space and outdoor areas, such as balconies and terraces, into their plans. The desire to create more environmentally-conscious developments has been a hot topic for some time, but now with consumer demand for private, outdoor space at an all-time high, intention will become action.
- Locations will be reconsidered
Lockdown proved itself to be the large-scale workplace experiment that no-one could have anticipated. Many people have proved that working from home is not only just as effective as being in an office, but potentially better for their quality of life and work/life balance. Where businesses may have been reticent to commit to homeworking pre-Covid, lockdown has forced business leaders to acknowledge that working from home is just as productive as office-based working for the majority. Therefore, while many people previously based their living location, and consequently lifestyle, around their place of work, now there is a feeling of greater freedom. We may see an increase in people looking to buy in areas for the lifestyle that place can offer them, opposed to the commuting facilities. Alternatively, we may also see an increase in demand for properties near cycling routes and non-public transport commuting facilities, particularly for those who still need to access a designated place of work on a regular basis.
- More rooms and indoor space wanted
Similar to the increase in demand we could see when it comes to outdoor space, lockdown also proved to many people how important their home environment is in terms of their comfort, wellbeing and mental health. With working from home on the increase, many people will be looking for property with a designated room that can be used as a home office, opposed to the makeshift desks and workspaces that were created over lockdown. According to a survey by Rightmove, top of the list of demands for London buyers and renters currently is a home with at least two or three bedrooms, with the idea being that one of those rooms can be converted into an office.
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